The Impact Of Artificial Intelligence On Cyber Security

The world is going digital fast and the pace  change is only going to speed up. Everything is moving at lightning speed, business, entertainment, trends, and new products. With this there is an opportunity for  cyber criminals can extend their reach to targets in any part of the world at any time. The need for cyber security has never been more critical than now.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools could go a long way to helping to fight cybercrime,but these technologies aren't foolproof and could also be exploited by malicious hackers. AI will aim to improve cyber security considerably but, it will be used by hackers for criminal activity. In the wrong hands, it is a very real threat to cyber security.

While the conveniences and benefits of this digital era are many, it also brings with it several negatives. One of the most significant and destructive threats it poses is that our private information is at risk like never before. The last decade or so has seen hundreds of cases of identity theft, loss of money, and data breaches. 

Cyber-attacks in nature are very pervasive and affect every individual, business, and government bodies alike and some of Edward Snowden’s reasons for whistleblowing are now more apparent and real. 

AI and ML are playing an increasing role in cyber security, with security tools analysing data from millions of cyber incidents, and using it to identify potential threats, an employee account acting strangely by clicking on phishing links, for example, or a new malware. But there is a constant battle between attackers and defenders. Cyber criminals have long tried to tweak their malware code so that security software no longer recognises it as malicious.

Uncovering new kinds of malware isn't the only way machine learning can be deployed to boost cybersecurity: an AI-based network-monitoring tool can also track what users do on a daily basis, building up a picture of their typical behaviour. By analysing this information, the AI can detect anomalies and react accordingly.

"What AI enables us to do is to respond in an intelligent way, understanding the relevance and consequences of a breach or a change of behaviour, and in real time develop a proportionate response," says Poppy Gustafsson, co-CEO of Darktrace, a leading  cybersecurity company that uses machine learning to detect threats..

But while AI and ML do provide benefits for cybersecurity, it's important for organisations to realise that these tools aren't a replacement for human security staff.

It's possible for a machine learning-based security tool to be programmed incorrectly, for example, resulting in unexpected, or even obvious, things being missed by the algorithms. If the tool misses a particular kind of cyberattack because it hasn't been coded to take certain parameters into account, that's going to lead to problems. Indeed, there's the potential that AI and ML could create additional problems, because while the tools help to defend against hackers, it's highly likely that cyber criminals themselves are going to use the same techniques in an effort to make attacks more effective.

For example, ML could be employed to send out phishing emails automatically and learn what sort of language works in the campaigns, what generates clicks and how attacks against different targets should be crafted.

Like any ML algorithm, success would come from learning over time, meaning that it's possible that phishing attacks could be driven in the same way security vendors attempt to defend against them. But as cyberattacks grow in volume and complexity, AI and ML are helping under-resourced security operations analysts stay ahead of threats. 

Curating threat intelligence from millions of research papers, blogs and news stories, AI provides instant insights to help you fight through the noise of thousands of daily alerts, drastically reducing response times. AI and ML will change the relationship between people and technology and will add to our memory, creativity and ability. 

The future of ML and AI suggests a time of human intelligence is significantly enhanced by creativity, speed and accuracy.. 

IBM:       Accenture:       Entreprenuer:        ZDNet:           HelpNetSecurity:

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