If you are running a business or an Information Technology operation, one of the biggest and most pervasive issues you deal with daily is cybersecurity. In conjunction with security systems, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are being used to protect against cyber-attacks. A simple definition of AI in the cybersecurity context is the ability to program the identification and mitigation of attacks, alerting security staff to issues as needed. This can help “free up” your employees for more fruitful and less repetitive security activities. ML, a type of AI, in the cybersecurity context allows systems to identify anomalies. There are 2 types of ML – Supervised ML uses a pre-defined set of data examples to reach a conclusion, whereas Unsupervised ML finds patterns and relationships without examples from which to draw conclusions.
It is projected that AI algorithms using ML will make it simpler to respond to cybersecurity risks, because these solutions will use ML data from prior cyber-attacks to adapt and identify similar risks, effectively “learning” behaviors in a standardized way. Additionally, as attacks become more sophisticated, conventional cybersecurity protocols will be less and less effective.
However, since security tools are only as good as the last successful attack, intrusions and intruders will continue to become more sophisticated. To further complicate the issue, it is anticipated that AI and ML will also be used to conduct attacks, or “adversarial machine learning,” versus only being used as protection against attacks.
Considering the current cybersecurity workforce shortage, estimated to grow to 3.5 million worldwide by 2021, your business will have to rely more on AI and ML solutions in conjunction with your own staff.
It is critical that your business stays vigilant in efforts to identify and mitigate cyber-attacks so your systems, data, and infrastructure remain as secure as possible. Keeping your eyes open about both the benefits and issues surrounding AI and ML will allow you to view these emerging technologies in the cybersecurity space realistically.