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The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity

Last updated on May 5, 2023

With the rise of cyber threats, the need for robust security measures has never been greater. Global cybercrime damages are predicted to reach $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion in 2015.

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This trend, showing a growth rate of 15% year over year, highlights the need for more robust cybersecurity measures to prevent attacks and mitigate damage. Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a powerful tool to meet this need.

In this article, we’ll explore the role of AI in improving cybersecurity, discussing real-time threat detection and response, attack prevention and the challenges of AI in cybersecurity. You’ll also understand the importance of a managed cybersecurity services partner and the essence of integrating AI-driven solutions to enhance your cybersecurity strategy.

The Basics of AI in Cybersecurity

Thomas Heverin, Ph.D., an Associate Teaching Professor of Information Science at Drexel University, stated, “One of the key problems in cybersecurity includes the amount of data that cybersecurity professionals must process in order to make critical cybersecurity decisions.”

Artificial intelligence solves these issues by automating time-intensive core functions and streamlining workflows to maximize endpoint protection. This is possible because of the three main applications of AI, including:

  • Assisted intelligence: Assists cyber professionals with tasks and processes by leveraging datasets. Such workflows include detecting potential anomalies in network behavior so your Security Operations Center (SOC) team can quickly identify threats. 
  • Augmented intelligence: Can help security teams make better decisions by providing real-time information and analysis. It involves integrating existing knowledge with new data to develop unique solutions.
  • Autonomous intelligence: Involves using predefined rules, advanced machine learning algorithms and real-time data analysis so systems can identify potential threats faster and more accurately without human intervention.

AI for Real-Time Threat Detection and Response

AI has several functions throughout the cyber lifecycle. These include monitoring extensive amounts of data to detect subtle adversarial attacks, evaluating the risks associated with known vulnerabilities and using data to aid decision-making during threat hunts.

The Benefits of AI-powered Threat Detection and Response

Increase Time and Cost Savings

According to IBM’s 2022 Data Breach report, organizations using AI and automation had a 74-day shorter breach lifecycle and saved an average of $3 million more than those without.

AI’s capabilities to rapidly quantify risks and accelerate analyst decisions enable you to speed up the detection and response cycle more accurately. Interestingly, it’s not an all-or-nothing game, as you can significantly benefit from partially integrating AI into your cybersecurity strategy.

Boost Employee Satisfaction

Artificial intelligence is transforming the cybersecurity landscape to enable professionals to automate repetitive tasks like filtering alerts and focus on higher-level tasks. While using AI to save time and reduce human error, your SOC team can deliver innovative cybersecurity solutions by providing distinct insights from their specialized expertise and skill set.

New Threat Detection and Data Breach Prevention

AI’s machine learning and deep learning-based detection capabilities allow organizations to develop their detection parameters and identify threats in real time continuously. As cyber criminals find new ways to break into computer systems, you can stay one step ahead by leveraging artificial intelligence.

As for preventing data breaches, you can train AI systems to catalog your IT inventory, run pattern recognition and monitor network activities to predict potential leakages. You can use AI to get prescriptive information on solving cyber security challenges and minimizing the attack surface.

How AI Is Used in Real-Time Threat Detection and Response

You can implement better security practices with artificial intelligence continuously providing up-to-date information about the IT infrastructure, including users, behaviors and performance.

PayPal, a global payment platform, leverages machine learning to tackle fraud. The company reduced its fraud rate to 0.32% by analyzing transactions in real time with a deep-learning system.

Capgemini Research Institute’s 2019 report on the role of AI in Cybersecurity provides compelling social proof that emphasizes the business benefits of strengthening your cybersecurity defenses with AI:

  • 75% of executives report that AI speeds up their organization’s breach response;
  • 60% say it enhances the precision and productivity of cyber analysts;
  • Most firms state that implementing AI reduces average breach detection and response expenses by 12%.

Challenges Associated With Using AI for Cybersecurity

While AI provides significant benefits for businesses, several challenges are associated with its use. These challenges range from the lack of quality data to the potential of hackers to trick AI models.

Potential for False Positives and False Negatives

Sometimes, AI can produce false positives by incorrectly identifying harmless actions as threats. False negatives occur when AI fails to detect a legitimate threat. False positives can lead to unnecessary alerts that consume resources, while false negatives can lead to severe data breaches.

Training AI algorithms with diverse datasets can help you tackle this challenge. While using accurate data can reduce false positives, including human intelligence to provide context and insights into potential threats improves threat detection.

Lack of Accurate Data Quality

As artificial intelligence is highly dependent on its training model data, high-quality input can provide better output. Using inaccurate data can backfire as you get incorrect conclusions and unreliable predictions when detecting or responding to threats.

You can tackle this challenge by implementing data quality assurance procedures to evaluate and ensure the data is accurate and updated. With regular audits and verification, you can maintain the data’s integrity, reliability and accuracy.

No Human Oversight

AI algorithms can recommend decisions and perform tasks based solely on data without considering the situation’s context or subtleties. This issue can lead to decision-making errors and a higher risk of false positives or negatives. Here, the human aspect of a SOC team with proper planning and strategy to be prepared for an incident is essential.

By integrating inputs from human experts into the decision-making process, you can improve how you use AI in your cybersecurity strategy. Excellent examples include adopting a review process where subject matter experts evaluate AI-generated alerts or a hybrid approach combining AI with human decision-making.

Hackers Using AI

Using AI is not limited to cyber professionals, as hackers use AI-generated phishing emails with higher open rates than manually crafted ones. In addition, cybercriminals are using AI to design malware that machine learning algorithms cannot detect and improve the success of their phishing attacks.

Businesses can tackle this challenge by implementing identity as the new security perimeter and adopting authentication strategies like the zero trust model. This model involves establishing defenses to continuously scrutinize network traffic and applications to ensure there is no malicious activity.

Future of AI in Cybersecurity

Artificial intelligence presents the opportunity to revolutionize cybersecurity. Its ability to analyze enormous amounts of data is becoming an essential tool for better detecting and responding to cyber threats.

Rise in Global Market Size

The global market size for AI in cybersecurity was $17.4 billion in 2022, and it is predicted to reach $102.78 billion by 2032, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.43% between 2023 and 2032.

One of the primary factors for this growth is the rapid rise in cyber attacks. AI security solutions can speed up the identification processes of cyber frauds, improve accuracy and help businesses proactively defend their sensitive information.

While the rise in demand for AI solutions to match and mitigate the increasing cyber security risk incidents, this growth can be restrained by the need for more technical know-how to implement AI projects.

Demand for Cyber Professionals with AI-related skills

The shortage of security professionals with a solid understanding of AI technology limits businesses from implementing an AI cybersecurity system. Such companies will look for talent that can put their AI ideas to practice and provide expert insights to improve threat-protection processes.

Organizations can invest in training programs to help security professionals better understand AI technology so they can implement it effectively. AI experts and cybersecurity teams can collaborate to bridge the knowledge gap and provide better solutions.

The Importance of a Managed Cybersecurity Services Partner

AI provides a way for businesses to secure their data from potential breaches proactively, but integrating this technology with your current system can be challenging.

A Managed Cybersecurity Services Partner can assess your current network security posture, develop a roadmap for improvements, and operate a safe and secure environment. With the expertise of a trusted partner, you can stay ahead of the latest threats and ensure that your network’s defenses are up-to-date.

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Strengthen Your Network’s Defense With a Managed Cybersecurity Services Partner Using AI

AI technology can significantly enhance cybersecurity by enabling faster threat detection and incident response. However, it poses several challenges, such as false positives, poor data quality and lack of human oversight.

ne Digital provides managed cybersecurity services to help you address these challenges. Our team of AI experts enables businesses to leverage AI to strengthen their network defenses effectively. Speak to an expert today or browse our portfolio to discover how we can drive your business’s growth by protecting your critical IT systems with AI technology.

Topics: Cybersecurity