According to the University of Maryland, a cyberattack happens every 39 seconds. Billions of records are exposed every year and worldwide spending on cybersecurity is in the billions of dollars. Because the tools and tactics used by attackers are constantly changing, a technology designed to protect against attacks must keep pace. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming an increasingly popular tool for improving security.
Protection Against Phishing Attacks
For many people, the term "artificial intelligence" may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, leaving them wondering what is artificial intelligence? In simplified terms, AI is the ability of computers to emulate human abilities, such as reasoning and pattern recognition. This ability to recognize patterns makes AI a valuable tool in protecting against phishing attacks. AI algorithms can be used to check the sender's address and the content of messages for clues that may identify phishing attacks that standard anti-virus software may miss.
Compensation for Shortage of Skilled Security Analysts
For the past several years, the demand for skilled cybersecurity analysts has outpaced the supply, leading to shortages in many organizations. Overworked analysts tend to make more errors and miss more threats. AI can help ease the workload on short-staffed security departments by automating tasks and shortening investigation times.
Tracking Unusual Behavior
Many security tools have been programmed to detect specific existing threats, however, the attackers keep changing their approaches and these tools can miss emerging threats. The pattern recognition ability of AI can be used to detect unusual behaviors, such as hundreds of users suddenly attempting to access a system that usually is only accessed by a few employees or a login being used thousands of miles away from where it was previously used. By detecting these behaviors, AI can flag activity that may point to a previously unidentified threat.
Tracking Multiple Devices
It used to be that people only had to worry about protecting themselves from attacks on one personal computer that was only connected to the internet part of the time. Now, most people and organizations have computers, smartphones, tablets and an ever-growing list of smart technology that is connected to the internet all the time and constantly vulnerable to attacks. It can be difficult for human analysts to monitor the growing number of devices that are exposed to security threats. The automation of AI makes it easier to simultaneously monitor a large number of devices.
It has become nearly impossible for many organizations to completely avoid security breaches. How quickly an organization can respond to an attack can have a huge impact on the severity of the attack. The longer a threat goes undetected, the more time it has to spread throughout an organization, making it more difficult to remove and giving it more access to sensitive data. Because AI can monitor large amounts of data in real-time, it can often detect threats much quicker than other tools and alert analysts, so that they can limit the damage.
The use of AI speeds up investigations, shortens detection time and reduces the impact of successful breaches. This means that organizations spend less money both on the process of investigating and mitigating cyberattacks and on the actual damages caused by successful breaches.
Threat Detection and Management
It can be difficult for human analysts and standard software tools to keep up with the number and type of security threats. AI systems are always learning and evaluating data, which means that they can often identify threats that analysts may not yet be aware of.
Because many companies can not afford to employ enough analysts to manage all of the security threats their organization faces, they sometimes must rely on hiring outside security firms to monitor and eliminate threats. Utilizing AI can allow companies to boost their security without increasing staff, which reduces the need to hire outside help. This both saves the company money and makes the company more self-sufficient.
Reduced Alert Fatigue
Standard security tools tend to produce many false alerts, which can waste the time of the analysts who must respond to them. AI systems can reduce the number of unhelpful alerts and prioritize important alerts, making it easier for analysts to efficiently respond to them.
The cybersecurity threats faced by organizations are constantly evolving. The ability of artificial intelligence systems to evolve to combat emerging threats can make it an invaluable tool in boosting cybersecurity defenses.