AI in arms race

Bringing AI to the cybersecurity arms race

A cyberattack is one of the most devastating things that can befall a business. IBM puts the average cost of a single data breach at a whopping $4.24 million. And besides crippling financial losses, a successful attack can ruin your brand’s reputation, break customer trust, and subject your business to legal action.

Moreover, eye-opening publications such as the ITRC 2021 Data Breach Report show a worrying upward trend in cybercrime over the last couple of years. This trend reinforces the ever-growing importance of cybersecurity in IT-reliant organizations.

But the rules of cybersecurity have changed drastically with the emergence of new threats and technologies. Today, information security is no longer a cat-and-mouse game. The digital space has turned into a fierce battleground where you have to outsmart and outgun your enemies. Cybersecurity is a war of IT prowess and careful strategizing at both the defensive and offensive fronts.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is proving a powerful weapon in this war. Let’s look at AI’s role and importance in the cybersecurity arms race.

AI in cybersecurity

Analysts project the AI-cybersecurity market to hit $38.2 billion by 2026, registering an impressive 23.3 percent CAGR within the forecasted period. The size and growth of this industry come as no surprise, given that AI-powered hardware, software, and services are now commonplace in cybersecurity.

AI makes cyber defenses and response systems more intelligent, adaptive, and agile—vital qualities in the war against the current breed of highly sophisticated threats and cunning cybercriminals. Here are the most common AI applications in cybersecurity:

  • Network and user surveillance – Smart monitoring bots can pick up any suspicious deviations in network traffic or user behavior that might indicate an imminent attack.
  • Threat hunting and response – AI-powered threat or intruder detectors act on the first signs of an attack and automatically activate responsive counter-measures once a threat is detected.
  • Vulnerability and risk prediction – Automated tools can scan digital systems for lurking security loopholes and predict an organization’s risk profile.
  • User screening – AI is widely used in identity and access management (IAM) hardware and software to verify user identities and access rights accurately.
  • Endpoint management – Endpoint management systems infused with AI can automatically monitor and maintain the security status of any end-user or peripheral device connected to a corporate network.

The pros and cons of AI in cybersecurity

AI essentially automates various cybersecurity processes and broadens the capabilities of digital security systems. This empowers cybersecurity efforts in the following ways:

  • Minimizes erroneous human involvement in cybersecurity
  • Improves threat detection accuracy
  • Speeds up incident response
  • Generates useful insights into threats, risks, and vulnerabilities
  • Intelligent monitoring is a big part of proactive security measures

But like any technology, AI-powered cybersecurity has its limitations. The first limitation is that AI tools still need real humans on standby to verify findings and execute critical actions. Although AI has advanced a long way over the last few years, we’re still far from a fully autonomous AI security system. Second, AI-powered security systems are up against some formidable adversaries. Ingenious hackers are constantly coming up with new ways to “poison” AI defenses or evade detection using intelligent malware of their own and technical workarounds.

Keep up with the trends

Digital security is quickly evolving into AI warfare. It’s now more of a battle of wits than brute force. And for better or worse, AI is part and parcel of the modern cybersecurity landscape. But it’s upon you to determine how to utilize this technology to enhance your organization’s security posture. For starters, there’s a wide selection of AI-based security devices, software tools, and services from IT security providers and vendors.

Are you still undecided on the best security tools or actions to take? Tap into GB Tech’s 30+ years of collective IT expertise and experience to make the right security decisions for your organization. Even with sophisticated AI tools, that alone is not enough to guarantee total IT safety. Cybersecurity still needs a human touch to fill all the gaps that technical tools leave behind. Contact us to take your digital and security performance to the next level.