AI Advancements and Cybersecurity

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2020 was difficult for governments, the businesses we work for, and the man in the street. We all had to transition to new ways of working, and the transition has continued to speed up.

The advantages and benefits of the online, digital age are evident. But, it also has several drawbacks. One of the most severe concerns is that data and our personal information are now more exposed than ever.

There have been many cases of identity theft, money loss, and data breaches in the last few years. Every day the news channels report more and more breaches and cyber incidents.

Read on to learn more about the most recent Artificial Intelligence (AI) advancements and managed IT security services now available to most businesses.

Recent AI Advancements and Cybersecurity

There have been developments in AI in most sectors of industry. All the below industries have begun to use AI:

  • Transportation
  • Healthcare
  • Banking
  • Retail
  • Entertainment
  • E-Commerce
  • Security

There are essentially three types of AI: narrow, general, and super AI.

Narrow AI focuses on one task at a time. Siri is an excellent example of a narrow AI. It has a pre-defined range of functions.

General, or strong AI, has some way to go. Research is underway to develop computer consciousness with cognitive ability.

Super AI is when a computer can perform automated tasks faster and better than a human. To make super AI real, scientists will need to develop emotional capability in computers.

From the above, it is clear that narrow AI is the only type of AI available for cybersecurity automation. Narrow AI depends on a programmed instruction set, challenging in the ever-changing cyber threat landscape.

Machine Learning allows computers to apply and adjust algorithms based on their data, learn from it, and identify the required improvements.

In the case of cybersecurity, this means that machine learning allows the computer to foresee hazards and detect anomalies significantly more accurately than any human.

What Is a Cyber Attack?

Cyberattacks are pervasive, affecting everyone from individuals to businesses to government agencies. Cyberattacks have become very elaborate.

Threat actors have also become adept at disguising their attacks. For every method of attack exposed and shut down, dozens more are created.

There have been more than 2,000 distinct vulnerabilities revealed this year alone. Managing security vulnerabilities with traditional technology or human resources is challenging. AI can handle this far better.

The world faces two serious cybersecurity challenges. First, hackers can reach their targets from anywhere globally.

Secondly, hackers have all the time to plan and action their attacks. When an attack happens, we have minutes, if not seconds, to respond and defend ourselves and our businesses.

A typical cyber-attack involves adversaries (sometimes referred to as threat actors) or cybercriminals attempting to gain unauthorized access to, alter, or damage a target’s computer network and data. It is the systematic, calculated, and deliberate use of technology to infiltrate and disrupt governments, businesses, and the man in the street.

The most common forms of cyberattacks are:

Other attacks are SQL Injection, Cross-Site Scripting, Zero-day Exploit, Rootkits, and Internet of Things (IoT) attacks.

Cyberattacks are getting more complicated and diversified, with each malicious intent requiring a particular type of attack.

AI Can Monitor Cyber Risk

Artificial intelligence applications have been critical in saving lives and building economic resilience during the pandemic, facilitating far-reaching health and safety improvements.

Improvement in AI capabilities, ranging from autonomous driving and natural language processing to cybersecurity, has continued surprisingly.

“To prevent whatever the attackers are trying to achieve, organizations must be able to detect a cyberattack in advance,” explains Chad Lauterbach, CEO of Be Structured, an award-winning outsourced IT support company in Los Angeles.

Artificial Intelligence has proven beneficial in detecting cyber threats based on data analysis and recognizing a danger before exploiting a weakness in information systems.

The daily volume of cyber threats is too significant for humans to handle, making AI the only alternative.

Imagine if you are a Systems Administrator (SysAdmin) responsible for:

  • Ten servers
  • 25 workstations
  • Three printers
  • 2 Network Storage Devices (NAS)
  • Three routers, and
  • Two network switches

Each device requires security patching, at least weekly. Each patch takes 10 minutes so this small network requires 450 minutes or 7.5 hours a week for patching. That’s one working day a week gone!

Can AI Speed Up Cyber Incident Response Times?

AI-based systems do not wait for an online threat to exploit a vulnerability. Instead, these AI-based solutions hunt for potential weaknesses in organizational information systems, combining elements such as hackers’ dark web chats, the hacker’s repute, the patterns used, and so on.

Then, these systems can examine these parameters and use the data to predict when and how the danger will reach vulnerable targets.

Formulating security policy and determining an organization’s network topography are crucial aspects of a network’s managed IT security services. Unfortunately, both of these activities are time-consuming.

We can now use AI to speed up these procedures by analyzing and learning network traffic patterns and recommending security measures. This saves time and a lot of work and resources that can be put to better use in areas like technical growth.

The Impact of AI On Cybersecurity

While having AI take over completely is appealing, we must remember that AI is made up of many different components and thus is quite adaptable. While AI is beneficial to cybersecurity, it is also being used by hackers for wrong objectives. It has the potential to do exponential damage and become an even more significant threat to cybersecurity in the wrong hands.

As technology advances, adversaries improve their assault methods, tools, and approaches to exploit individuals and organizations. Artificial Intelligence is beneficial, but it also has its drawbacks.

AI and machine learning can detect and prevent assaults before they happen. As AI advances, we will be able to see how far we can push this technology to be both a blessing and a curse to cybersecurity and society in general.

As Threat Grows, So Does Security

As discussed above, AI advancements and cybersecurity threats and risks are increasing, but AI can assist in stopping hackers in their tracks.

AI is becoming more critical in cybersecurity, with security technologies analyzing data of millions of cyber incidents and using it to identify threats.

The only way to defend everything you’ve worked so hard to create is to be cautious about cybersecurity. If you’d like to learn more about how managed services might benefit your business, give us a call; we’re here to help you!

About Chad Lauterbach

CEO at Be Structured Technology Group, Inc. a Los Angeles based provider of Managed IT Services for small business. I desire to help small businesses better utilize technology by assisting in high level planning to make sure that new systems will benefit them both operationally and financially. I am careful to implement and support systems using industry best practices.