Need of the Hour: Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Security

Mar 01,2019 by Gauri Mishra
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Artificial Intelligence and machine learning have the capability to advance security as well as data-safety solutions by processing analytic insights. Cyber security companies are faced with multiple transformations which have been well documented in the past years. Multiple organizations are looking forward to switching to AI for security reasons. Artificial Intelligence (AI) happens to be a well-known buzzword in the present era. Now the question is: when will the next revolution of tech disruption take place?

High Time: Need for Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Security

An urgent requirement of Artificial Intelligence has been experienced by security administrators in security driven industries. It’s not just a question of why AI is needed for securing the data, in fact, it is a much needed move for thwarting malicious attackers and cyber related threats.

  • Cyber threats are shooting up rapidly day-by-day. The image of cybersecurity has experienced losses as hackers and attackers were required to succeed only once, whereas defenders had to guard an oversized, ever-growing attack surface 24×7. Thus it’s beyond the capability of humans to protect systems from such brute force attacks.

  • It will take hundreds of individuals to drill and investigate all their security and information to discover modern cyber threats, and take action rapidly to prevent sabotage. However, such an investigation by hundreds of individuals is practically impossible and very expensive.

  • Artificial Intelligence overcomes this drawback by amalgamating AI and automation with individuals’ skills to provide ultimate threat management.

  • Creating next-generation systems for threat detection and response isn’t possible for several organizations at present. Artificial Intelligence will facilitate in bridging this gap by providing high-level detection and response as a service, hence eliminating the complication and price of creating in-house next-generation security driven operations.

AI is superior to humans, but cannot outperform them

  • At the present time, we confront complicated attacks which create a messy mass of information to scrutinize. We currently have to investigate network traffic, application & transaction information, customer access data, social media data, cloud info, information from a range of security items, dark internet data and many more: the list is never-ending.

  • Advanced cyber security needs the flexibility to rapidly examine a large amount of information. AI facilitates this by applying advanced math on huge scale information needed to mitigate threats. Furthermore, these days, a single well-resourced AI system can operate advanced mathematical calculations in comparison to the entire human population.

  • Machines are highly advanced and more affordable in comparison to humans when we are talking about management of large volumes of data. This is specifically what security-driven enterprises require currently, particularly with the huge number of advanced threats.
  • Human classification, particularly when dealing with massive amounts of data, is fault-prone because of boredom and various distractions. Machines, on the other hand, don’t mind working on the similar routine, again and again. Also, they conduct routine and repetitive tasks a lot quicker with extra efficiency in comparison to humans.
  • With AI, it’s essential to keep a watch over the results to verify whether or not various algorithms are still operating inside the required parameters. AI, without any kind of human assistance, may divert from the set track. However, operating in partnership with Artificial Intelligence, researchers are freed from most of the burden of work.
  • However, human intelligence is not sufficient for such calculations and multiple mathematical functions. And the phenomena of cyber security demands more than simple data analysis.
  • In cyber security, when defenders are evaluating a risk or creating an alert, or scrutinizing an accurate response, they require aspects of Human Intelligence. AI technologies have not yet evolved with the potential to replace these abilities of human intelligence.

AI Augmentation

It is very true that AI may not identify whether an alert is a real attack, which human cognition skills can, although AI can speed up the detection of the attack by the augmentation of human analyst potential. AI will provide efficient solutions to the human analysts, solve the queries for them and perform those tasks where human capability fails.

Listed below are some technical methods of human skill augmentation through AI:

  • Triaging: AI driven techniques might be utilized to enhance human analysis. AI will deploy machine learning processes of historical patterns as well as data visualization to filter out the pertinent alerts quickly and provide the triaged and enhanced alerts for those human analysts to carry the investigation further.
  • Threat Hunting:  AI is highly beneficial as it will look for patterns and various anomalies though the entire data and provide the outcome to human analysts for further investigation.
  • Incident Analysis or Investigation: Humans have an advantage when we talk about investigating any kind of incident. Security investigations demand a bundle of reasoning skills which modern AI technologies do not have. AI models basically answer what has happened to the asset, who are the real attackers and several other questions.
  • Threat Anticipation: AI will also enhance human potential in threat anticipation. Threat anticipation for a company notices when a violation occurs in other organizations and assures its customers by alerting them as soon as possible.
  • Incident Response: AI even helps in incident response. When an alert is initiated as an incident, an efficient response needs 4 crucial steps- having the spread, recovering the impacted systems, minimizing the major causes of the attack and enhancing their security framework for the future. 

Future Outlook

In the present era, AI oriented technologies can perform quick mathematical calculations to reinforce the crucial abilities of human intelligence. And this is the realm of applications where Artificial Intelligence provides the largest perk for cyber security. Based on the results of the algorithm, human intelligence is required again to take decisions with respect to the data categorized or considered by the AI machine. In fact, the relationship between human and artificial intelligence is basically symbiotic: in the primary step, expertise of cyber security is required to structure and categorize training data, chose correct algorithms and, in several cases, determine the appropriate response.

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