Artificial Intelligence, Real Cybersecurity
Companies spend up to $1.3 million per year responding to fallacious cyber intelligence, according to the SANS Institute. As cyber attacks become more sophisticated, organizations must decide if the benefits of using artificial intelligence (AI) to guard against outside threats outweigh the challenges.
Technology creates convenience in today’s modern world, and AI is no exception. Many organizations have implemented biometric scanning, made possible by AI, as a password alternative. This form of identity management is nearly impossible to imitate and adds an additional layer of security against data and physical breaches.
AI is also incredibly useful when it comes to processing large amounts of data, reducing the man-hours it takes to compile and prioritize complex information. The result of this speedier number crunching is improved incident response times when combating malware or other cyber attacks.
AI is developed by humans but lacks their critical thinking skills. Because of this, AI will miss cyber threats it was not coded to detect. Although it can be useful in identifying threats, its functionality is limited by its programming, which means it requires continuous updates and human resources to improve.
Some IT experts refer to current AI technology as “machine learning,” because they aren’t truly intelligent. At this stage, AI programs can be taught to recognize patterns and make inferences, but we haven’t yet learned to instill actual intelligence.
Like any technology, AI comes with its own ups and downs. While it could develop into a useful tool for strengthening cyber defenses, it is by no means the end-all-be-all of effective cybersecurity. Inevitably, this technology will evolve and be utilized by malicious, as well as good, actors. Some experts worry that cyber criminals do enough damage without AI, and that the assistance of AI’s complex automated processes creates the potential for more sophisticated, frequent attacks in the future.
Organizations should independently determine if AI solutions would complement their current IT strategy, weighing the cost, benefits, and risks of relying on nascent technology. As a rule of thumb, conducting regular security assessments to isolate threats and areas for concern will provide a clearer picture of how AI could be implemented and if the benefits justify the risks.