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The premise of the 2003 “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” movie was that crippling viral infection of the Internet on a global scale demanded a creative solution. So someone suggested plugging the Air Force’s experimental AI in to clean things up, and of course that AI became Skynet. Thankfully, we’re far from that fictional scenario. But the sad reality is that data breaches and cyber attacks have become so common that they happen every 39 seconds. The question now is not about whether a cyber attack is going to occur, but how much damage the next attack will cost. For example, in 2018, the total cost for cyber crimes committed globally added up to over $1 trillion. With cyber attacks getting more and more sophisticated, an alliance between artificial intelligence and cyber security has become an inevitability.

Photo quote of Robert Mueller talking about cyber crime
Cyber attacks are an inevitability, which means the role of AI in cyber security could be a prominent one.

The Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security Connection: Neural and Data-Driven

Traditional antivirus technology is finding it difficult to keep up with cybersecurity threats and attacks. The detection rate of anti-virus software is slow, plus the recovery from intrusions is grueling and difficult. But the biggest challenge for cyber security experts rests not on malware intrusions but on non-malware attacks. Intrusions have become more creative and sophisticated. Cybercriminals have devised ways to break into the system through social engineering like baiting, phishing, and vishing.

There are limited resources available that can detect data security breach executed through these exploit tools. These security breaches hide in plain sight by masquerading as a legitimate process. Legacy antivirus technology is not designed to detect such kind of breach. The merging of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity is the missing puzzle.

With algorithms under artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, new technologies are being developed that can process data at rapid speed. Through features that can comb through vast amounts of data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity can discern and make decisions whether an activity or process is deemed a threat. Additionally, this speed and scale allow the automation of tasks that may be too repetitive or complex for a human to process. By automating most of the tasks, security analysts can tune out false alerts and focus on more pressing security threats.

Dan Panesar talks cyber security
The union of artificial intelligence and cyber security is born out of necessity.

Capitalizing on AI in Cybersecurity

Set against the evolving landscape of cybersecurity, the use of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity as a preventive infrastructure is promising.  While the use of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity is a newly-forged path, experts and industry leaders are beginning to see where the buzz is coming from. The ability of artificial intelligence to process and crunch a large amount of data at lightning speed is particularly useful in cybersecurity. Grouping parallel data, identifying deviation, detecting anomalies and preventing attacks are just some of the ways artificial intelligence and cybersecurity is creating an impact. A number of companies are pursuing this newly-forged path.

  1. LogRythm is a security solution provider based in Boulder, CO. Its strength is in threat detection in the shortest possible time allowing the company’s security team to separate false threats and easily investigate security issues.
  2. Jask is a security information and event management software based in San Francisco, CA. Through automated tasks, enhanced visibility and better context of alerts, the SOC analyst can focus and investigate on high-priority alerts.
  3. PerimeterX is a bot-detection solution designed to help companies curb automated attacks such as account take-over, fake account creation, validation of stolen credit cards, and marketing fraud.
  4. Anomali helps organizations through a suite of solutions meant to alert the security team, detect threats inside the network, automate repetitive tasks, enable seamless investigation, and collaborate with other organizations.
  5. DarkTrace and its technology are regarded as the world’s leading enterprise-grade AI in cybersecurity by thousands of customers worldwide. The company uses the human immune system as a model
  6. CrowdStrike is a cloud-native endpoint protection software. CrowdStrike works by keeping customer data secure especially during highly-vulnerable times like weekends and holidays.
  7. CyberReason’s mantra is Hunt, Detect, and Protect. This Boston-based software solution company helps organizations against advanced security attacks by providing multi-layer protection and analyzing or flagging suspicious data.
  8. Cyclance by Blackberry provides native AI solutions via threat prevention, detection and response capabilities. The solution’s predictive advantage can identify and analyze threats as early as 25 months in advance.

The Role of AI in Cyber Security

Stuart McClure talking cyber security
The role of AI in cyber security will increase with the sophistication of cyber crimes.

Thankfully, businesses and organizations know that to survive the cybersecurity warfare, acquiring cyber resilience is a must. Some organizations learn the hard and costly way. Fortunately, there are businesses that choose a preventive stance. Likewise, investors are placing their bets on startups working on AI-enabled technologies.

Similarly, antivirus technology companies are tapping on the potentials of AI to learn from past cyber security mistakes by shifting from deterministic programming to probabilistic programming approach. With artificial intelligence and cyber security crossing paths, we may have already found some answers.

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