Both the AI and cybersecurity fields have grown at a rapid pace in recent years and with that growth, significant overlap between the two technologies. Ethical challenges and questions of how these two fields can work together have also come up. While both of these technologies have their own advantages and limitations, it's important to assess how they may affect each other when combined.
How Is AI Used in Cybersecurity?
As cybercriminals become increasingly sophisticated and continue to threaten and infiltrate large companies all over the world through compromised passwords, cybersecurity professionals look to implement biometrics as a more secure alternative to traditional usernames and passwords. Biometric logins use fingerprints, retinas, facial recognition, and palm prints to verify the identity of the user requesting access. These identifying markers are much more difficult to replicate or compromise than passwords.
The significant volume of malware that is produced every day is another opportunity for AI to improve cybersecurity efforts. Some cybersecurity companies are already creating AI programs that use algorithms to detect malicious activities and analyze cybersecurity threats for familiar patterns, which can then be used to predict malicious activity. Both of these functions outperform current cybersecurity capabilities.
Similarly, AI can be used to collect and analyze information in the news and in academia for developments in cybercrime. This information can be used to optimize AI used for cybersecurity, a necessity in an arena that continues to evolve.
What are the downsides to AI in security?
While AI presents opportunities to enhance cybersecurity practices, there are several limitations to using AI, including the cost and time it takes to design, develop, and test AI programs. AI requires a high volume of data and power as well as many different data sets in order to be effective. Because AI is a relatively new technology, many companies lack the necessary resources to implement AI programs.
Another limitation to using AI for cybersecurity is that AI can also be used just as easily by cybercriminals for malicious purposes. Additionally, cybercriminals can design AI-proof cyber attacks.
Can AI Be Used for Cybersecurity?
It is best for organizations to consider these factors and keep in mind that although there are limitations to using AI for cybersecurity, there is also potential for advancement and it is likely worthwhile to employ available AI systems in your overall cybersecurity strategy with some procedures in place, such as:
- Training your cybersecurity team on the skills they need to develop a sound cybersecurity plan.
- Regularly test current cybersecurity strategies for vulnerabilities and correct them immediately.
- Monitor traffic for potentially malicious activity and employ blockers as well as company-wide education to minimize these activities.
- Keep updated on developments in cybersecurity and cybercrime to plan ahead, mitigate risks, and develop the cybersecurity plan accordingly.
Developing a Cybersecurity Strategy
A well-thought-out, holistic cybersecurity strategy will not eliminate risk, but it can more clearly help your IT team to deter, detect, make you aware of a cyberattack, and can help you produce an effective, quick response, regardless of whether or not AI is the right tool for your organization at this time. By continuously educating your cybersecurity staff, you can be prepared to protect your company's information no matter what. View cybersecurity training here.
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