AI Is Changing The Cyber Security Landscape

The globe is going digital at an incredible rate, and these changes won’t stop and will increase with AI. While the benefits of this digital era are enormous, it also has many negatives. One of the most significant and destructive threats is that our private information and data is at risk like never before, and in the last ten years we have seen identity theft, massive loss of money and data breaches. 

Now cyber-criminals can reach their targets in any part of the world at any time and police criminal action often cannot cope and so the need for cyber-security has never been more critical.

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning 
With the genuinely significant potentials of Artificial Intelligence, the probability of attackers weaponising it and using it to boost and expand their attacks is a huge threat. One of the biggest concerns is that hackers can use AI to automate cyber-attacks on a massive scale. 

Another significant issue is that, just like we can deploy AI and machine learning to complement the shortage in human resources and to save cost in cyber-security, also the criminals can also use it and so the costs needed for launching and coordinating such attacks will go down massively. 

Recent improvements in AI now mean that hackers can attack against a system’s vulnerability much faster and better than a human can. AI can be used to disguise attacks so effectively that one might never know that their network or device has been affected. 

So, the three main implications of Artificial Intelligence to the threat landscape are the augmentation of today’s threats and attacks, the development of new threats, and the variation of the nature of existing threats.

Future Developments
While the future seems bleak, there have also been developments in technology with significant impacts on cyber-security. One such major game-changer in the field of cybersecurity is tools and techniques developed and supported by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) as a subset of it. 

The following are some of the ways Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are making a difference by giving the much-needed boost to cybersecurity. 

Machine Learning in Cyber Threat Detection
Organisations have to be able to detect a cyber-attack in advance to be able to thwart whatever the adversaries are attempting to achieve. 

Machine learning is that part of Artificial Intelligence which has proven to be extremely useful when it comes to detecting cyber threats based on analysing data and identifying a threat before it exploits a vulnerability in your information systems. 
Machine Learning enables computers to use and adapt algorithms based on the data received, learning from it, and understanding the consequent improvements required. In a cyber-security context, this will mean that machine learning is enabling the computer to predict threats and observe any anomalies with a lot more accuracy than any human can. 

Conventional technology cannot keep up with the new mechanisms and tricks of hackers the way AI can. Additionally, the volume of cyber threats people has to deal with daily is too much for humans and is best dealt with by AI.
AI, Password Protection and Authentication

Passwords have always been a very fragile control when it comes to security. And they are often the only barrier between cyber-criminals and our accounts. 

Let’s face reality, most of us are quite lazy with our passwords, often using the same one across multiple accounts, relying on the same password since ages, keeping account of them neatly as a draft message in our device. Biometric authentication has been tested as an alternative to passwords, but it is not very convenient, and hackers can easily circumvent this, too.

For example, a face recognition system can be irritating to use when it can’t recognise you because of a new hairstyle or when wearing a hat. Attackers can also get through it by using your images from Facebook or IG.

Developers are using AI to enhance biometric authentication and get rid of its imperfections to make it a reliable system. 
The AI software creates a sophisticated model of the user’s face by identifying key correlations and patterns. Apple claims that, with this technology, there's only one-in-a-million chance of fooling the AI and opening your device with another face. 

AI-ML in Phishing Detection and Prevention Control
One of the most commonly used cyber-attack methods, where hackers try to deliver their payload using a phishing attack, is phishing. Phishing emails are extremely prevalent; one in every 99 emails is a phishing attack. Fortunately, AI-ML may play a significant role in preventing and deterring phishing attacks. 

Network Security & Artificial Intelligence
Two important parts of network security are the creation of security policy and figuring out an organisation’s network topography. Typically, both of these activities are very time-consuming. We can use AI to expedite these processes, which it does by observing and learning network traffic patterns as well as suggesting security policies. AI has also made it possible to differentiate between a fake website and a legitimate one quickly.

Behavioral Analytics with AI 
Another promising enhancement of security by AI comes from its behavioral analytics ability. What this means is that ML algorithms can learn and create a pattern of your behavior by analysing how you usually use your device and online platforms. The details can include everything from your typical login times and IP addresses to your typing and scrolling patterns. 

So, is AI an answer to all my cybersecurity problems? 

While the thought of entirely letting AI takeover is very tempting, we must remember that AI consists of a lot of things and, therefore, is very versatile. 

As technology evolves, the adversaries are also enhancing their attack methods, tools, and techniques to exploit individuals and organisations. There’s no doubt that Artificial Intelligence is incredibly useful, but it is somewhat of a double-edged sword.

AI-ML can be used to detect and prevent the attacks before it takes place. As AI sees more advancement, we will be witnesses to how far we can take this technology to be both a boon and a bane to cyber security and the society in general. 

Entrepreneur

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