Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity: Benefits and Drawbacks

Artificial Intelligence (ΑΙ) is among the leading trends in digital technologies, bringing significant benefits to the industries that incorporate it. The ability to interpret data from multiple sources to make complex decisions, provided by ΑΙ, among others, has boosted speed and innovation in business operations while giving users an optimized experience.

Having already played a decisive role in cyberspace, ΑΙ is expected to radically reshape the cybersecurity industry in the coming years, both from the “defender” and the “attacker” perspective.

AI is undoubtedly a powerful tool in a business’ defence strategy. However, where there is an advance in technologies that help in the battle against cybercrime, there is also potential for cybercriminals to use AI techniques to advance their malicious activities. Hackers are now able to use AI to improve or automate cyberattacks.

The Future of Cybersecurity

Artificial Intelligence has undoubtedly greatly helped the cybersecurity field, improving infrastructure and information systems protection. By leveraging AI applications, with the help of advanced Machine Learning (ML) models, it is now possible to create networks capable of self-protection and self-monitoring while also being able to detect and mitigate threats, even those unknown and unclassified, more accurately.

Today, major players in the global IT market use AI to secure IoT infrastructure, addressing security incidents in the cloud and hybrid environments, emails and endpoints, networks, and servers. AI could be beneficial for businesses that struggle to fight against cybercriminals. It could also assist them in improving their infrastructure and building a shield of protection against any digital threats.

According to the recent “Turning the Tide” study conducted by Trend Micro, at least 41% of IT professionals believe that to cope with the never-ending fight against cybercriminals; they must further strengthen and automate cybersecurity with the use of Artificial Intelligence.

artificial intelligence
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Applications of AI in Cybersecurity

The truth is that the cybersecurity field has needed technology like Artificial Intelligence due to significant changes in the field of cyberattacks and a shortage of skilled personnel to fill cybersecurity jobs. As IBM’s Security Intelligence page highlights, security analysts need to be more staffed and show signs of burnout.

According to a recent Ponemon report, organizations that identified a security breach in less than 100 days earned more than $1 million compared to those organizations where similar incidents remained unknown for more than 100 days. Similarly, organizations that managed to contain the breach in less than 30 days earned more than $1 million compared to those that took longer. What can Artificial Intelligence do to improve this situation?

The speed, accuracy, and computing power of Artificial Intelligence offer a unique opportunity to protect an organization without a security perimeter and to continuously process the massive amount of threat data that organizations face daily.

Entrepreneur outlines the following ways AI is used to boost cybersecurity:

1. Password Protection and Authentication: developers are using AI to make biometric authentication even more accurate.

2. Phishing Detection and Prevention Control: AI can detect and track more than 10,000 active phishing sources and react and resolve the situation much more quickly than humans can.

3. Vulnerability Management: systems based on AI are built to be proactive by searching for potential vulnerabilities in organizations’ information systems.

4. Network Security: AI is expediting the most important parts of network security.

5. Behavioral Analytics: AI algorithms could learn and create a pattern of a user’s behaviour by analyzing how they typically use their device and online platforms.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Summarizing the main benefits of AI in cybersecurity, we can easily underline the following advantages:

-Easily identifies trends and patterns [AI can swiftly identify trends and patterns from large volumes of data]

-No human intervention is needed [AI brings the advantage of automation]

-Continuous development [Algorithms continuously improve themselves]

-Handing multi-dimensional and multi-variety data [even in dynamic or uncertain environments]

-Wide application [AI can be used for a wide range of applications]

On the other hand, we can also detect a few drawbacks which underline the importance of improving AI to deal with the fast-growing cybersecurity challenges. These are the following disadvantages:

-Data acquisition [ML requires a large amount of data]

-Time and resources [Algorithms need sufficient time to learn and evolve]

-Interpretation of results [Data interpretation might also be difficult]

-High error-susceptibility [ML is prone to making mistakes]

George Mavridis is a freelance journalist and writer based in Greece. His work primarily covers tech, innovation, social media, digital communication, and politics. He graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication. Also, he holds an MA in Media and Communication Studies from the Malmö University of Sweden and an MA in Digital Humanities from the Linnaeus University of Sweden.