May 10, 2021

How is AI contributing to cyber security processes?

AI
Cybersecurity
ML
Data
Tilly Kenyon
3 min
As cyberattacks grow in volume and complexity, artificial intelligence (AI) is helping companies stay ahead of threats
As cyberattacks grow in volume and complexity, artificial intelligence (AI) is helping companies stay ahead of threats...

Cyber security is becoming increasingly important as cyber criminals can pose a threat to all organisations and businesses, plus the customers and consumers who use them. 

Cybercriminals can deploy AI to increase the success of their attacks. For example, they can use AI to spot patterns in user behaviour, which hackers can take advantage of, or deploy it to identify new network vulnerabilities. AI also works at immense speed, in real-time.

The US Government has taken action after a ransomware attack shut down a major US pipeline. The Colonial Pipeline carries 2.5 million barrels a day, 45% of the East Coast's supply of diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel. The pipeline was knocked offline by a cyber criminal gang on Friday and the Government has issued emergency legislation that relaxes rules on fuel being transported by road. 

This means drivers in 18 states can work extra or more flexible hours when transporting gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined petroleum products.

How can AI help with cyber security? 

As businesses evolve and grow, so too does the threat of cyberattacks. Verizon found that in 2020 86% of breaches were financially motivated and 10% were motivated by espionage. 45% of breaches featured hacking, 17% involved malware and 22% involved phishing. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are playing an increasing role in cyber security. AI gathers insights and uses reasoning to identify the relationships between threats, such as malicious files, suspicious IP addresses, or insiders. This analysis takes seconds or minutes, allowing security analysts to respond to threats much faster.

Passwords have always been an issue when it comes to security, and are often the link between cyber criminals and our identities. Biometric authentication is starting to be used as an alternative to passwords, but attackers can still easily bypass these controls. Developers are utilising AI to improve current biometric authentication and eliminate any imperfections to make it a robust application. One example is Apple's face recognition technology, called Face ID. The device detects the user's facial features by built-in infrared sensors and neural engines. AI software produces a sophisticated face model by recognising key similarities and patterns.

AI can optimise and monitor many essential data center processes like backup power, cooling filters, power consumption, and internal temperatures. The calculative powers and continuous monitoring capabilities of AI provide insights into what values would improve the effectiveness and security of hardware and infrastructure.

The future of AI in cyber security

An important element to the success of AI in cyber security is making sure that your business’s IT team has the skills and is up to date with the latest information. Building a roadmap before deploying AI capabilities can also be beneficial so companies can see where it will be best used. 

There is no doubt that AI will be used in cyber security for the foreseeable future, but while AI’s ability to process information is impressive, we cannot forget it can only work as well as it was programmed to. 

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