As our world becomes more and more connected, both AI and cybersecurity have become ubiquitous. However, the fear surrounding cybersecurity and AI is sweeping through almost every industry because only a few understand what the technology is and what it can do.
Therefore, to overcome these fears and to understand what Artificial Intelligence can do to defend us from a threat we need to understand it.
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)
For most of us, Artificial Intelligence (AI) means robots because this is what we have been seeing in movies like iRobot and read in novels. But nothing of this is adding to the fact.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to copying human intellect in machines to think like humans and imitate their actions. The goal of artificial intelligence includes learning, reasoning and perception.
AI and machine learning go hand in hand, both are complex, which is why people often misunderstand them. Imagine seeing a machine that can learn to do a task that any human can do. Although we are decades away from this, the thought itself is very interesting. Therefore, we see an advancement in AI and machine learning and this human-AI collaboration will become even more widespread in the future.
Today’s intelligent system – Siri, Alexa, Google search– is an example of AI’s development and how it is advancing. How does Google search know what you are looking for? Without even typing a complete sentence Google understands and gives you the suggestion. This is just the tip of the iceberg AI and machine learning can do more things like this. Certainly, the ways these intelligent algorithms work are outstanding, but they can only do the tasks that we train them to do – a search system cannot know how to drive a car. This is when human intervention is required and what makes humans better than machines.
But this doesn’t mean we are superior. Machines can do certain tasks a million times better than humans. But when it comes to people versus machines, the interaction between the two is very important. Every single day at the workplace, home, cyber defense systems cross swords due to human challengers and AI-based defenses win more than it loses.
So, the cybersecurity fight is about humans protecting other humans. And despite attackers trying to abuse AI systems used for protection, AI would naturally be an ally to cybersecurity.
Machines a Counterpart to Our Fortes
In the field of security AI’s biggest achievement is in handling Data analysis. Where a system can analyze over a million events in a day human face difficult. Not only this, when it comes to finding anomalies from a set of data that could lead to potential attack it becomes far too challenging. To overcome this situation cybersecurity experts have been using the hand in glove approach for decades and are working with AI. In tasks such as breach detection, sample analysis, malware classification, etc AI and machine learning have proved beneficial and have stopped a countless number of potential security threats.
AI a Good Samaritan or Not?
One of the biggest concerns industries have about AI is that hackers can use AI to automate attacks on a massive scale.
If you too think the same and are uncertain about AI being a boon or bane, remember technology can be used for good and for evil objectives.
AI’s potential to automate security is surely beneficial but if hackers learn how to make better use of this Artificial Intelligence it will be a risk. All this makes future bleak, but the way Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is fighting against cybercrime is making a difference.
When it comes to detecting cyber threats based on data analysis, machine learning part of Artificial Intelligence has proven to be helpful. As it can identify the threat before the vulnerability is exploited.
Machine Learning empowers computers to use and get familiar with algorithms based on data received and understand the improvement required. In context to cybersecurity it means, that machine learning is allowing the computer to predict threats and observe loopholes with accuracy than humans can.
Passwords, another important element when it comes to security, have always been fragile. And they are the only ones that stand between your accounts and cybercriminals. Therefore, Biometric authentication is proposed as an alternative to it. But it’s not very convenient and hackers can easily circumvent it. To deal with inadequacy AI is being used to enhance Biometric authentication and make it more reliable. Apple’s face recognition is one example.
This not all AI is advancing, and it is not going to stop. Another promising enhancement of security by AI comes from behavioral analytics. This means by analyzing how you use a device ML can create a pattern and can know when any unusual activity takes place. This will raise a red flag and immediate measures can be taken
So, is AI the answer to a ransomware attack as shown by AV-Test, cybersecurity problems?
The thought of AI taking over cybersecurity is interesting, but we cannot forget AI is adaptable. Hackers can use it for malicious purposes. If it falls into wrong hands it can do more damage than protecting us. It is a double-edged sword we need to take all the precautions we can when relying on anything. Where at one place AI will help circumvent ransomware attacks it can be helpful too. To sum up, AI is both boon and bane.