Cyber Defence: How Machine Learning and AI are Eliminating the Complexity

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are changing the way that businesses operate. Whether it’s on the factory floor or in back-end IT, automated services and machines are increasing speed and productivity all while freeing up workers to focus on tasks which require a totally different set of skills.

Alongside this, we are seeing the role of AI in cyber security increase as well as the number of artificial intelligence security tools being used too. This is all because AI is trained to learn, develop and grow using the data it is provided with. Essentially, an AI system is constantly in a state of change and improvement. In an environment where hackers and security threats are everywhere and constantly looking for a way into a system, protecting company data has never had such a high priority. With this in mind, it’s important to understand exactly what is AI in cyber security and just how is AI in security being implemented?    

The Purpose of Cybersecurity

AI is proving to be one of the most influential and game-changing technology advancements in the business world. As more and more enterprises embrace the digital sphere, companies are finding new and exciting ways to implement AI-based functions into every platform and software tool at their disposal. However, one of the natural consequences of this is that cybercriminals view this increasing digitization as a definite window of opportunity.

A cyber threat is basically any act that intends to steal, harm or digitally affect data in some way. They are more than just a nuisance, they can have serious and damaging effects. Cyber-attacks can cause electrical blackouts, involve the theft of valuable or sensitive data like medical records, disrupt phone and computer networks or just paralyze entire systems making any data unavailable. They can cripple a company in a heartbeat.

Some of the most common forms of cyber threats include:

  • Phishing – Email-borne attacks that involve tricking recipients into disclosing confidential information or downloading malware by clicking on a link.
  • Malware – This is usually a piece of software that performs a malicious task on a targeted device or network such as corrupting data or taking control of a system.
  • Trojans – A form of malware that enters a system looking like one thing, such as a standard piece of software, before letting out a malicious code once inside.
  • DDoS – An attacker takes over many devices at once and uses them to invoke the functions of a target system causing it to crash from an overload of demand.
  • Data Breaches – A data breach is simply where an attacker hacks or finds a way into a system before stealing data directly.

Cyber threats never stay the same for very long. There are millions of them being created every year all becoming more potent than the last and this is where machine learning and artificial intelligence is so important in regards to combatting cyber threats.

How AI Can Help in Cyber Defence?

This is where AI can help massively. Machine learning-based technologies are particularly efficient at detecting unknown threats to a network. This is where computers use and adapt algorithms depending on the data received and improve their functions. Essentially, this attempts to create a machine that can predict threats and identify anomalies with much greater accuracy and speed than a human equivalent could do.

One of the other examples of AI in cyber security involves using supervised algorithms. These can uncover threats based on the labelled data they have been trained on. Based on this, the system can then make educated decisions pertaining to new data and determine whether it is harmful or not. Thousands of instances of malware code can be used as learning data for supervised algorithms to learn from, creating an extremely efficient system for detecting incoming threats.

The Future of Cyber Defence

As it is an environment that changes at a lightning-quick pace, trying to stay ahead of technological developments as the importance of cybersecurity for digital marketing and other sectors is crucial to business sustainability. However, there are some trends to say aware of regarding cyber defences in 2020:

  • Predicting Threats Is Critical – More and more we’ll see companies concentrating on detecting and predicting cyber threats using AI. As technology and awareness develop in regards to using and adopting AI as a part of cyber defences, the need to predict and respond swiftly and accurately will increase in turn.
  • It Will Become Prevalent For Consumers – Consumers are starting to realize that passwords are not providing enough account protection and that their accounts are increasingly vulnerable. AI can recognize returning users and will be key in protecting the entire customer journey, from creation through to transaction. This should allow businesses to form trusting bonds with their customers as they are protected by more than just a password.
  • AI Will See A Sharp Rise In Usage – According to Capgemini, 69% of enterprises believe AI will be necessary in order to respond to cyberattacks. The majority of companies say they are counting on AI to help identify and thwart attacks that could cause increasingly expensive losses.

Final Thoughts

It can be a worrying time for businesses out there who are concerned about the growing threat of cyber-attacks. However, by combining security methods with AI and machine learning it is possible to protect yourself accordingly. By being proactive, staying up-to-date with the latest threats and working with industry professionals, you’ll be able to stay on top of even the most serious of cyber threats out there and ensure your data stays protected.

About the author

David Pittaway is a creative content writer for Aumcore, a digital marketing agency based in New York. He writes on a variety of topics that range from SEO, Machine Learning to crafting the perfect creative content marketing plan