Navigating the Benefits and Challenges of AI Implementation as New Threats Loom

Cybersecurity professionals are struggling to navigate the many changes that are concurrently shaping the digital landscape. A growing number of cyber-attacks and new complications brought on by advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are two of the biggest trends gripping the industry. Large scale data breaches increased 273% in the first quarter of 2020, which is indicative of the risks that cybersecurity professionals face in the coming year.

AI is highly important to modern cybersecurity professionals. They rely on new AI technology to address the threats that cyber-criminals are launching with greater ferocity than ever before.

Unfortunately, AI is not a purely benevolent technology for people in the cybersecurity profession. Although it has created many important safeguards, it is also a terrifying threat in the hands of malicious hackers. Even in the hands of a dedicated cybersecurity professional, it can introduce several impediments if they don’t understand its potential or the protocols for integrating it into their digital defense infrastructure.

They must be aware of AI defenses, such as risk scoring with Cymulate to best prevent these attacks. The benefits of AI tools like Cymulate is that they constantly test for new threats in real-time and make very accurate risk scoring calculations based on readily available data on cyber-threats.

Here are some ways that artificial intelligence is changing cybersecurity, for better or for worse.

Cybersecurity professionals must grapple with the increased severity of cyber-attacks caused by AI  and use their own AI tools to mitigate them: arXiv, a distribution service for Cornell University, published a white paper on the evolution of cybersecurity in response to changes in AI. This white paper sought to identify an equilibrium between cybersecurity professionals and black hat hackers.

One of the very first points that the authors made was that criminals are using AI to scale their capabilities. They can launch a greater number of attacks with the same number of hackers on their team. They can also use AI technology to coordinate more easily and recruit, which means that a greater number of hackers can be used to launch an attack.

Cybersecurity professionals that don’t adapt will quickly be overwhelmed. They must use AI at their end to enhance their security to prevent hackers from circumventing their defenses.

AI helps quickly process large data sets to identify potential cyber-attacks: Incoming cyber-attacks don’t come with warning labels identifying their malicious intentions. Cybersecurity professionals need to be able to hastily analyze data transmissions to distinguish between malicious attacks and legitimate applications.

Aaron Swain mentioned that this is one of the most important benefits of AI in the cybersecurity profession. New machine learning algorithms can quickly analyze large bulks of data. They can identify various signals that indicate a bulk of data might be associated with a cyberattack.

AI algorithms can use these red flags to conduct an automated risk scoring calculation. They can be programmed to terminate server requests, data transmissions or other actions that appear to be maliciously motivated.

AI can respond to unprecedented attacks: The role of a cybersecurity professional would be much easier if there was a precedent for every potential attack. Unfortunately, cyber-criminals are constantly evolving. Although there are usually some similarities between the attacks they launch against their targets, there are also numerous aspects that make them unique. This can make it difficult for even the most trained expert to differentiate between a cyber-attack and a legitimate attempt to access their network.

AI is capable of assessing the nuances much more carefully. Machine learning algorithms can spot very subtle warning signs that indicate a cyber-attack is in progress.

Cybersecurity professionals must also be cognizant of the limits of AI: AI provides many novel benefits for cybersecurity. Cybersecurity professionals should use it to their advantage to stop an increasing number of highly complex attacks.

Unfortunately, they can’t afford to become complacent. Although AI has numerous benefits, it is also riddled with imperfections. Here are some challenges that they must prepare for as they implement AI-driven cybersecurity measures.

AI won’t recognize and respond to every threat: AI is still far from perfect. It might be capable of conducting timely analyses that humans would struggle to complete. However, it is still learning and may not always be up to the challenge.

Hackers will use their own AI capabilities to make their attacks less detectable: Cybersecurity professionals must recognize that hackers are always coming up with more novel attacks. They can use AI to identify the weak points in their target’s cybersecurity, which includes the AI algorithms they are using for risk scoring and threat prevention automation.

What is the correct response? Cybersecurity professionals must lean on AI technology to adapt to evolving threats. However, they must also realize that AI alone is not capable of stopping cybercrime. AI should be seen as an additional form of defense, rather than a replacement for standard cybersecurity protocols.

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