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The Rise of AI in Cybersecurity

The sudden technological rise has enabled enterprises and agencies to conduct business and communicate like never before. However, this has made cyberspace an increasingly belligerent environment, with hackers constantly trying to break into the business networks and systems. The goal is simple – extract data and sell it to the highest bidder. Our world runs on data today, and if the systems are compromised, it can wreak havoc on businesses. Billions of dollars are on the line to protect company data, but with increasing cyberspace vulnerabilities, experts and businesses are facing the daunting reality. This is where the need for a technological prodigy comes into consideration.

With the intensifying cyber-attacks in our rapidly digitizing world, a new generation of cutting-edge AI technology is giving business leaders the ability to guard against hackers, cybercriminals, and rogue agencies.

Artificial intelligence and cybersecurity seem like they are meant to be used together. But what the current nature of AI technology states? What are the challenges faced by businesses and governments with cybersecurity? How immersive is AI for cybersecurity? And what the future holds?

We will be breaking down the factors that solidify the need for robust cybersecurity measures and how it has led to the development of next-gen artificial intelligence technology.

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Challenges Faced in Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is a set of rules or a series of protocols designed by an organization that must be followed to ensure information sustains its “ICA” – integrity, confidentiality, and availability. But there are certain loopholes that compromise the security measures and protocols. Overcoming this is a big challenge, and cybersecurity experts are doing everything in their power to find a suitable solution for that. Nevertheless, the following are some of the biggest challenges faced by cybersecurity:

  • Reactive nature of cybersecurity A threat can only be resolved or prevented from occurring once it has already occurred. The challenge lies in predicting future threats and preventing it before it causes any form of harm. Security experts simply
    cannot predict cyber-attacks, and therefore, it is extremely hard to create a robust strategy. Since cyberspace is ever-evolving, attackers are constantly developing new ways to breach data. One cannot just predict what their next move will be, and before the experts come up with the solution, it can be too late.
  • Geographically distant IT systems Another biggest challenge lies in overcoming infrastructure differences. Since the servers and networks are spread over a geographic distance, it is not possible to manually track any form of cyberattack, whether big or small. This makes businesses vulnerable to cyber threats. To prevent any future threats, the incident occurred need to be monitored. This is a huge infrastructure investment and also requires a lot of IT talent, which is something an organization is not ready to bear, yet.
  • Hackers constantly hiding and changing their IP addresses Hackers and cyber attackers are extremely intelligent individuals or organizations that know how to hide in plain sight. They have all the knowledge and access to tools and equipment that help them in staying anonymous and undetected. For example, Tor browsers, Proxy servers, and Virtual Private Networks (VPN), among others, are all they need to hack into your system and steal confidential information without getting caught. So, it is extremely important that you have state-of-the-art security systems and firewalls to protect your company data from malicious hackers. Even it can be an inside job. So, you really can’t tell what went wrong. Experts in cybersecurity need to overcome this challenge one way or the other in order to reduce incidents.
  • Manual threat hunting Manual threat hunting is another aspect that needs improvement. It is not only expensive but time-consuming as well. By the time you fix an issue, you may realize that another attack has happened. Automatic systems have to be in place that can monitor the networks and identify any malicious activities.

How Can AI Help?
It is safe to say that traditional approaches to combat cyber-attacks are no longer of any use. Given the scale and nature of cyber-attacks, it is not easy to detect and overcome the challenges using traditional methods. Sure, the use of technology can be expensive, but it can reap lifelong benefits. Cybersecurity experts have understood that they have to be prepared more than the hackers in order to stop breaching firewalls, access controls, and compromising secured networks.

With the inclusion of AI into the systems, it is helping the professionals stay ahead of the threats. Artificial intelligence can broaden the reach of enterprises and organizations when it comes to cybersecurity solutions and pave a new path for developing new and smarter ways to curb issues. Here is how AI is helping safeguard the cybersecurity industry:

  • Network Security AI can be of great help for businesses to learn about the network traffic patterns to establish robust network security policies and understand network topography. A network security policy clearly defines the difference between legitimate network links and links that are susceptible to malicious activities. Since there are thousands of networks, it can be a real challenge to establish network policies. But with AI, you can implement a zero-trust security model. Topography, on the other hand, is the physical characteristics or attributes of workloads and applications. Using AI, cybersecurity experts don’t have to spend time deciding what workloads belong to the specific applications.
  • Data Centers AI can be implemented in the operations of a data center to optimize and monitor critical processes like the use of bandwidth, internal temperatures, power consumption, cooling filters, and backup power. AI can continuously monitor and calculate the operational values to provide insights into what can be done to improve overall performance, efficiency, and security. Most importantly, artificial intelligence can send you maintenance alerts for hardware, thereby reducing the overall maintenance cost.
  • Vulnerability Management Enterprises experience a vast number of vulnerabilities on a daily basis, out of which only a few are tackled. Hackers use this opportunity to exploit the vulnerabilities at high risk. Implementing AI and machine learning can help resolve vulnerabilities. For example, UBA or user behavioral analytics is an AI-based system that analyzes server baseline, endpoint, and user account behaviors to detect any anomalous changes signaling a zero-day attack.
  • Threat Detection As discussed earlier, traditional cybersecurity safety techniques only work well for threats that are previously experienced. But with AI, it is possible to detect threats that are not yet discovered. AI can be incorporated in pattern and signature-based techniques that can raise threat detection rates to 95%.

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Cybersecurity
Limitations of AI for Cybersecurity

  • Cyber threats are constantly evolving
  • Cybercriminals are also using AI
  • AI systems are not 100% accurate. You will get an explosion of false positive

Use Cases of AI in Cybersecurity

  • Email monitoring
  • Security operations centers with AI
  • Security orchestration, response, and automation
  • Endpoint protection
  • Intrusion detection
  • Malware detection
  • Data protection and compliance
  • Scoring risks in networks
  • Behavior analysis

Conclusion
Artificial intelligence is redefining every aspect of cybersecurity. It can go both ways if cyber experts fail to harness AI’s potential in the right direction. But one thing is clear that the future of cybersecurity lies in the hands of AI. With developments in AI, it can be easy for organizations to predict threats and take precautionary measures before it happens.

ARCON is a leading enterprise risk control solutions provider, specializing in risk-predictive technologies. ARCON | User Behaviour Analytics enables to monitor end-user activities in real time. ARCON | Privileged Access Management reinforces access control and mitigates data breach threats. ARCON | Secure Compliance Management is a vulnerability assessment tool.

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