Impacts Of AI In Cyber Security

Swami Nathan Tue, 06/02/2020 - 13:17

As cyberattacks grow in size and complexity, artificial intelligence (AI) helps the analysts of under-resourced security operations stay ahead of cyber threats. Curating the information of threats from millions of research papers, forums and news reports, AI offers instant insights to help you battle the noise of thousands of regular warnings, significantly reducing response times.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to human intelligence simulation of computers which are programmed to think like humans and imitate their behaviour. The term may also apply to any machine that exhibits human mind-related traits such as learning and problem-solving.

What are the Main Challenges Cyber Security Faces Today?

Despite advances in cyber security, attacks are becoming ever more dangerous. The key cyber security issues include:

  1. Geographically distant IT systems — Geographic distance makes it more difficult to manually track accidents. Experts in cyber security need to overcome infrastructure differences, in order to monitor incidents across regions successfully.
  2. Manual threat detection – can be expensive and time-consuming, leading to more unexpected attacks.
  3. Cyber Security's reactive nature — companies can only fix issues once they've already occurred. It is a huge challenge for security experts to predict threats before they occur.
  4. Hackers frequently cover their IP addresses and modify them — hackers use different programmes such as Virtual Private Networks (VPN), Proxy servers, Tor browsers, and more. These systems aid in keeping hackers anonymous and undetected.

AI in the Cyber Security Field

With cyber-attacks rising both in nature and scale, traditional approaches are struggling to detect threats and malware. Cybercriminals are constantly developing new and smarter ways of breaching access controls, firewalls, and compromising highly secure networks. The only way to stop these attacks is to be prepared more than hackers.

AI can help under-resourced security systems remain ahead of the threats themselves. Using AI, we shall broaden the scope of current solutions to cybersecurity and also pave the way for the development of new, stronger ones.

To put it plainly, the ever-increasing complexities of threats to the network and security are beyond what humans are capable of managing alone. That’s why we need new, AI-powered solutions to solve the security challenges of today and tomorrow.

If an attack or malicious behavior is observed, AI will dramatically boost the security systems by mitigating criminal intelligence by utilizing millions of resources.

How does AI Enhance Cyber Security?

Threat Detecting

Traditional safety techniques employ signatures or IoC (Indicators of Compromise) to identify threats. This technique may work well for threats that are previously experienced, but it is not successful with threats that are not yet discovered.

Signature-based techniques can identify threats for about 90%. Replacing traditional AI techniques can raise detection rates to 95%, but you will get an explosion of false positives. The best solution is to merge conventional approaches and AI. This will lead to a detection rate of 100 % and eliminate false positives.

Enterprises can also use AI to enhance the process of threat hunting by integrating behavioral analysis. For example, by processing large volumes of endpoint data, you can leverage AI models to create profiles of any application within an organization’s network.

Vulnerability Management

In 2019, 20,362 new vulnerabilities were reported, 17.8% higher than in 2018. Organizations fail to identify and handle the vast number of new vulnerabilities that they experience every day. Traditional methods of vulnerability management tend to wait for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities at high risk before they are neutralised.

While traditional vulnerability databases are critical to managing and containing known vulnerabilities, AI and machine learning techniques such as User and Event Behavioural Analytics (UEBA) can analyse user account, endpoint, and server baseline behaviours and identify anomalous behaviours that could signal an unknown zero-day attack. Even before vulnerabilities are officially reported and patched, this can help protect organizations.

Data Centres

AI can optimise and monitor many essential processes in the data centre such as backup power, cooling filters, power consumption, internal temperatures and use of bandwidth. AI’s calculative powers and continuous monitoring capabilities provide insights into what values would improve hardware and infrastructure efficiency and security.

Additionally, AI can reduce the cost of hardware maintenance by alerting you when you need to fix the device. These warnings help you to fix your computer before it breaks in a more serious way. In reality, after introducing AI technology inside data centres in 2016, Google announced a 40% reduction in cooling costs at its facility and a 15% reduction in power consumption.

Network Security

Traditional network security has two time-consuming aspects that establish security policies and understand an organization’s network topography.

  1. Policies — Security policies define which network links are legitimate and which one is a malicious activity that you should further investigate. Such policies can be used to successfully implement a zero-trust model. With the vast number of networks, the real difficulty is designing and managing the policies.
  2. Topography – For applications and workloads, most companies do not have the same naming conventions. As a result, security teams will spend a lot of time deciding what set of workloads belongs to a given application.

Companies may use AI to improve network security by studying network traffic patterns and recommending both functional workloads grouping and security policy.

Disadvantages and Weaknesses of Using AI for Cyber Security

The above-mentioned benefits are only a fraction of AI’s ability to improve cybersecurity, but there are also drawbacks that keep AI from being a common tool used in the field. Companies will need enormous quantities of resources including memory, data, and computing power to construct and maintain an AI system. In addition, as AI systems are educated by studying data sets, cybersecurity firms need to get their hands on several different malware codes, non-malicious codes, and anomaly data sets. It can take a really long time and resources to obtain all of these accurate data sets which some companies cannot afford.

The downside is that hackers can also use AI themselves to check and refine their malware so that it can actually become AI-proof. In fact, AI-proof malware can be extremely destructive as it can learn from existing AI tools and develop more advanced attacks to penetrate traditional cybersecurity programs or even systems that are boosted by AI.

Cyber Security Audit

When there is a scope for change in the information security of your company, or if you start from scratch, then the Cyber Security Audit service is essential. It is also useful for organizations seeking assurance that the controls they have deployed are effective.

The Cyber Security Audit is an entry-level one-day service, that will recognise the threats, weaknesses and threat exposure of your company, and include recommendations for improvement.

Assess your cyber security environment with the cyber security Audit

The only way to protect what you’ve worked hard to build is to be vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity. If you’d like to know more about how your business can benefit from managed services, just give us a call, we are here to help.

AI is playing an increasing role in cybersecurity, with security tools analysing data from millions of cyber incidents, and using it to identify.

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