The explosion of artificial intelligence (AI) in cybersecurity is due to its many powerful features, such as continuous learning and adaptation, problem-solving, and massive data-handling capabilities. However, the protections against threats made possible with artificial intelligence in cybersecurity are challenged by the adoption of AI by cybercriminals.
This article will review the tremendous advantages of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity. Learn how AI can be used to detect cybersecurity threats, identify the presence of bots, predict data breaches, and support secure remote workforces. It will also review the disadvantages of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity, including how cybercriminals are using it.
Advantages of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity
Leveraging artificial intelligence in cybersecurity, systems can quickly and easily scale to meet the demands to process and analyze growing data sets generated from disparate sources (e.g., Internet of Things (IoT) sensor data, network traffic logs, system logs, threat intelligence feeds, and user behavior data).
With the ability to scale quickly, AI-powered cybersecurity solutions have more opportunities to detect hidden vulnerabilities and threats.
Increase threat visibility
Artificial intelligence in cybersecurity increases the reach and accuracy of traditional security solutions. The vast volumes of information that AI-powered solutions can process enable them to detect patterns indicating unusual activity that people and other systems could not find.
Optimize risk management
Risk management efforts can be enhanced and optimized with artificial intelligence in cybersecurity. The detection and processing capabilities of AI make it possible to sift through previously opaque data sets to find hidden risks and gaps in security. By identifying more vulnerabilities, AI-powered cybersecurity solutions enable proactive risk management, stopping or mitigating risk before an incident can happen.
Reduce bandwidth drain on security teams
Many tedious security tasks and resource-intensive functions (e.g., log analysis, patch management, and vulnerability assessments) can be handled with artificial intelligence in cybersecurity. This allows scarce and valuable security teams to focus their time and energy on other areas that are better served by the nuanced capabilities of people.
Speed threat detection and response
With artificial intelligence in cybersecurity, systems can identify and respond to anomalies, behavioral patterns, and other indicators of compromise in devices, endpoints, networks, and other systems in real time. The broad range and scale of threats that can be detected in real-time make it possible to stop previously elusive zero-day attacks.
As soon as a threat indicator is detected, AI-powered cybersecurity solutions can automate incident response procedures, such as blocking malicious traffic, isolating infected systems, and redirecting traffic from sensitive systems.
Streamline compliance efforts
The automation provided with artificial intelligence in cybersecurity helps organizations streamline compliance efforts. Data protection and data privacy requirements are supported, and these solutions can also automate monitoring and reporting.
Using artificial intelligence to detect cyber threats
Artificial intelligence in cybersecurity enables a number of approaches and tactics for detecting cyber threats, including the following.
Generative AI and large language models (LLMs)
Generative AI systems are powered by large language models, which are deep learning algorithms that use natural language processing (NLP) and are trained on volumes of internet data. When used as artificial intelligence in cybersecurity, generative AI can provide a contextual understanding of attacks that enables defenses to be optimized and proactive.
Self-learning AI is optimal artificial intelligence in cybersecurity, since it can train itself using unlabeled data. It is a very effective tool for artificial intelligence in cybersecurity, as it is designed to learn to fill in blanks when limited training data is available, as is the case with nascent and zero-day attacks, insider threats, and generative AI attacks.
Supervised machine learning with known attack data
Vast amounts of data related to known attacks can be used to train supervised machine-learning models. Using information about how attacks were perpetrated and attacker behavior patterns, supervised machine learning models are optimized to predict and proactively stop future attacks. Extended detection and response (XDR) systems are among those that use this type of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity.
Security log analysis
When analyzing security log data, artificial intelligence in cybersecurity uses machine learning algorithms to process vast amounts of raw information and distill it into insights. AI-driven security log analysis detects suspicious patterns and anomalies that are part of known threat signatures. With this use of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity, user behavior data can be ingested from multiple applications and systems to identify potential insider threats.
Threat detection and prevention
Artificial intelligence in cybersecurity is widely used for threat detection and prevention (e.g., malware and phishing). Because of its capacity to analyze data and identify patterns, AI-powered tools can proactively identify threats and trigger automated alerts to neutralize them. These powerful solutions only get better with time, evolving and adapting to recognize signs of sophisticated attacks (e.g., spear phishing).
Identifying bots with artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence in cybersecurity systems used for bot detection is tasked with distinguishing human-generated activity from automated activity executed by bots. AI-powered tactics used to make this distinction include:
- Bot pattern identification
- CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) challenges
- Internet protocol (IP) analysis
- Traffic analysis
- User behavior analysis
Benefits of using artificial intelligence in cybersecurity solutions aimed at detecting bots include:
- Ability to detect highly sophisticated and zero-day threats
- Automated, real-time incident response
- Dynamic adaptability
- Holistic, real-time analysis
- Increase in power and efficacy with continuous learning and evolution
- Proactive detection
- Reduction in false positives
Methods of using artificial intelligence in cybersecurity solutions that detect bots include:
- Automated threat monitoring and incident response
- Cyber threat prediction
- Data-driven decision-making for risk management and advanced cybersecurity policies
Predicting data breaches with artificial intelligence
Leveraging artificial intelligence in cybersecurity solutions aimed at predicting and preventing data breaches has resulted in faster, broader threat detection. AI solutions have significantly reduced data breach risks with proactive threat prediction, identification, and response, minimizing the success and impact of data breach attacks.
Using AI-driven predictive analytics, data breach attack vectors can be proactively identified by:
- Analyzing vast amounts of data in real-time, including network traffic, user behavior data, log data from different systems
- Learning and evolving based on new threat profiles and behavior
- Monitoring network activity continuously to detect threats
- Using advanced machine learning algorithms allows AI systems to learn from patterns, anomalies, and suspicious activity
Artificial intelligence for secure remote work
The two biggest roles of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity functions related to remote work are cybersecurity and compliance monitoring.
The AI-powered cybersecurity solutions deployed for enterprise environments are extended and applied to remote users with adaptations that take into account differences, such as extensive mobile device use and the need for secure connections from remote locations.
The powerful monitoring and detection capabilities of AI solutions are very effective in ensuring compliance with regulatory and internal requirements.
Disadvantages of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity
The efficacy of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity solutions is undeniable. However, there are several notable disadvantages to be aware of in order to mitigate the related risks. These include:
- An AI skills gap can make it difficult to find and recruit people to run the systems.
- An inability to explain how results were generated restricts transparency.
- Bias and discrimination due to data inputs can negatively influence decision-making.
- Generative AI tools can lead to inadvertent intellectual property loss or data leakage, resulting in data security and privacy risks.
- LLM’s prompt-based models are susceptible to injection attacks.
Use of artificial intelligence by cybercriminals
As should be expected, the power and benefits of artificial intelligence have attracted the keen eyes of wily cybercriminals. As soon as artificial intelligence in cybersecurity became available, it was integrated into cybersecurity threat vectors. Following are examples of how it is being used to upgrade cyber attack methods.
|How AI is used
|Develop highly targeted phishing campaigns and spear phishing messages that incorporate customized messages based on in-depth knowledge of the quarry.
|Augment social engineering attacks with video or audio-based deepfakes.
|Create new versions of malware that bypass detection.
|Use vulnerabilities in LLMs for injection attacks.
|New attack vectors
|Identify hidden vulnerabilities and optimize attacks to exploit them.
Artificial intelligence in cybersecurity takes defense to a new level
The sheer power of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity solutions, coupled with its ability to learn and evolve, allows organizations to take a proactive approach to defenses. From fending off advanced persistent threats (APTs) and zero-day attacks to stopping phishing and malware attacks from hitting emails, AI-driven cybersecurity solutions consistently succeed in thwarting breaches. Despite its challenges, AI belongs in every organization’s cybersecurity solution portfolio.
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