Artificial Intelligence: A Boon for Cybersecurity

threatcop
5 min readAug 19, 2020
Artificial Intelligence

Cybercriminals are exceeding in number as well as coming up with new ways to trick users into giving up their credentials. With advancements made in new-age technology, Artificial Intelligence is aiding companies lacking viable resources for adequate cybersecurity management. Organizing and systematizing cyber threat management from various information sources and research papers, AI provides efficient cybersecurity management and coordination solutions to organizations for tackling daily threat alerts. It responds to cyber-attack incidents spontaneously, which decreases the necessity of manual management. AI helps cybersecurity at the workplace in the following ways:

  • Artificial Intelligence is programmed to implement self-learning. It makes use of several data, research papers, blogs, features, articles, news stories, etc. related to cybersecurity and cyberattacks, to derive information. To do this effectively, AI implements machine learning and deep-learning techniques. This subsequently helps AI gain detailed insight into the methods that would help ensure cybersecurity at the workplace.
  • AI is capable of exercising reasoning to understand the correlation between various elements of cybersecurity and cyber-attacks. This unique feature helps it comprehend how malicious or fraudulent documents and suspicious IP addresses are linked together. The entire process of examination can take a minimal amount of time (approximately 1 minute) and hence it reduces the incident-response time of security experts to a great extent.
  • AI is programmed to reduce human labor. It makes use of inbuilt coding to conduct research operations in seconds, which can take up to hours for a normal human being. The entire procedure of detecting a cyber threat and implementing a response may take several hours. A cyber security survey has revealed that it can take up to 60 days for a threat to be detected. Without AI, the process gets slowed down to an extent that it can jeopardize the company’s security and expose the company assets to impending threats.

Why is AI needed in Cybersecurity?

Artificial Intelligence has tried continuously to replace human labour and make our lives easier with the use of technology. However, in earlier times, AI was unsuccessful in completely replacing the human brain. Things have changed in the 21st century, nevertheless, with new revolutions made in the field of technology as AI has now released its full potential. It is essential to understand that AI has not been programmed to replace the human mind, rather provide aid and help reduce time. It is programmed to make tasks that require hours of excruciating analysis to get completed within nanoseconds.

This can be explained better with an easy example:

Supposedly, a physician is trying to detect the presence of a particular disease in the patient’s body. Without tools such as X-ray machines, sonograms, or scanners, the time taken for the physician to manually search for symptoms will be lengthy. However, with the use of machines, such as these, the time taken is subsequently reduced and the disease gets detected way earlier so that the medication can be implemented at the earliest convenience. This provides the patient with a much greater probability of getting cured.

AI and Cybersecurity
AI and Cybersecurity

In recent times, the most commonly used AI applications in the field of cybersecurity are:

  • Spam Filter Applications (Spamassassin)
  • Network Intrusion Detection and Prevention
  • Fraud detection
  • Credit scoring and next-best offers
  • Botnet Detection
  • Secure User Authentication
  • Cybersecurity Ratings
  • Hacking Incident Forecasting

Cybersecurity is one of the genres that require the help of AI due to:

  • An extremely vast threat domain.
  • A multitude of operating systems and devices in every organization.
  • The diversity in the number and nature of attack vectors.
  • Inexperienced security professionals as well as irresponsible, unaware, and ignorant employees.
  • The amount of information saved in the database of each company that is too vast to be manually handled or protected.

The Function of AI in Cybersecurity

Cybercriminals in the 21st century implement very sophisticated hacking techniques, such as obfuscation and polymorphism. This, in turn, makes it very arduous for security analysts to detect malicious activities and respond to them. Moreover, another problem faced by organizations in the department of cybersecurity is the lack of workforce in this domain. AI, however, has decreased the need for a considerable amount of human labor by replacing tedious tasks via sophisticated methods of machine learning (ML). Security analysts and experts are now utilizing it to detect malicious programs and respond to cyberattacks at a much faster pace than before. It has reduced the time taken for incident response, as well as helped cybersecurity experts learn about emerging attack vectors.

Machine learning is a very integral part of AI’s functional sphere in cybersecurity. It provides the following benefits:

  • Machine learning helps detect malicious activities and thus prevent cyber attacks from taking place.
  • It analyzes end-points of various devices for tackling cyber threats.
  • It helps in time management by reducing the time taken for human analysis.
  • It automates security-related tasks without the need for manual interruptions.
  • It prevents zero-day vulnerabilities

AI as a Part of Cybersecurity in the Workplace

Encourage Security Awareness When Incorporating AI-driven Technology
Encourage Security Awareness When Incorporating AI-driven Technology

Artificial Intelligence is being used to make the cybersecurity infrastructure in organizations stronger. AI-driven technology has been enabling security analysts to come up with leading-edge cybersecurity solutions at their workplace. Protecting company assets and confidential data has never been easier.

Machine Learning can be used to block spoofed emails and filter emails so that employees do not fall prey to phishing attacks. DMARC based cybersecurity solutions empower organizations to keep DKIM and SPF records of their email domains, which can be checked against the sender’s addresses of emails sent to employees. If the match fails, it denotes that the email is either spoofed or phished and is being used by cyber attackers to scam employees into giving up their corporate credentials.

AI-driven vulnerability assessment and penetration testing services provide the companies with an opportunity to assess all the vulnerabilities present in the networks, cloud, server, and applications used by the organization and its employees. These vulnerabilities, when exposed and examined via machine learning, can then be assessed by security analysts to come with suitable solutions for strengthening the existing security infrastructure. AI-driven technology can also be used to generate an immediate response to cyberattack incidents, independently by employees without having to depend on security officials. By making Artificial Intelligence a part of an organization’s workplace security policy, CISO’s can ensure efficient security management within the company, proper time management, and reduce expenditure on security resources.

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threatcop

Threatcop is a cybersecurity company that provides security solutions to businesses to protect them against email-based attacks and social engineering attacks.