A picture speaks more than a thousand words. Artificial intelligence (AI) is growing exponentially as a new industry and has a critical role to play in cybersecurity innovation.

Credit: Artificial Intelligence for Enterprise

Artificial intelligence refers to an area of computer science that emphasises the creation of intelligent machines that learn and adapt through experience. AI technologies use machine learning (ML) to emulate human cognition and learn through experience, rather than cause and effect.

Recent advancements in deep learning and machine learning now mean that machines are able to teach themselves rather than relying on humans. This rise of AI and ML can be attributed to advancements in computing power and also the advent of big data and cloud computing. Growth in these areas means that this technology is beginning to become available to enterprises around the world, and one area it is being put to great use is cybersecurity.

The implementation of AI into cybersecurity systems serves as a real turning point. These systems come with a number of substantial benefits that are helping prepare cybersecurity professionals for taking on cyber-attacks and safeguarding their enterprise.

AI is already being used by organisations to bolster cybersecurity as it offers greater protection against sophisticated hackers. AI helps by automating complex processes for detecting attacks and reacting to breaches. These applications are becoming more and more sophisticated as AI is deployed for security and uses ML to spot greater and more complex patterns in the technology hackers are using in their attacks.

Data deception technology products used in cybersecurity can automatically detect, analyse, and defend against advanced attacks by proactively detecting and tricking attackers. They do this according to a standardized procedure or playbook. Rather than the variability (and ultimately inaccuracy) that comes with a human touch, AI systems don’t make mistakes in performing their function. As such, each threat is responded to in the most effective and proper way.

Although cybersecurity technology can eliminate human error from certain tasks, it still works best when combined with very smart security personnel. Instead of bringing fears that AI will replace human workers in cybersecurity, as well as many other industries, in the sphere of security ML is being used within several different areas to compliment, rather than replace, traditional measures. In practice, this means that AI is there to do the number crunching, and free up cybersecurity analysts for other tasks.

The benefit of ML to AI cybersecurity systems also means that this adaptive technology continues to change and become smarter over time, providing a competitive edge to defenders that have primarily been absent from most cybersecurity technologies to date.
Unfortunately, there are still some vulnerabilities that AI can open up, particularly when it depends on interfaces within and across organisations that inadvertently create opportunities for access by hackers.

As the defenders in cybersecurity begin to deploy AI, it comes as little surprise that the attackers are also beginning to deploy AI, enabling it to have the ability to make decisions that benefit attackers. This means that they will gradually develop automated hacks that are able to study and learn about the systems they target and identify vulnerabilities.
As the technology improves, it’s possible that programmes will emerge with the ability to fully understand when they are under attack and take measures to protect themselves. For now, AI and ML look to have a bright future in cybersecurity as enterprises begin to invest heavily in adding smart security measures to their overall defence.