"The collaboration of AI and Cybersecurity" - A Boon or Bane

 We all are well aware about the terms cyber security and Artificial Intelligence but they are far ahead of the basic definitions given in the dictionaries . Now , when we are here to discuss about the collaboration of these two giant techs , it is something worth a discussion . Let's get into it in this blog where we explore in detail how this collaboration is going to make a difference ...........

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting critical systems and sensitive information from digital attacks. It mainly aims to reduce the risk of cyber attacks and protect against the unauthorized exploitation of systems, networks and technologies by some sinister techies . It is basically a barrier raised against any malicious intent in the cyber space and not just related to protecting your passwords .

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is the process of mimicking human intelligence . The field of AI is booming in the recent past and has widespread applications in almost every domain you can think of. Healthcare, transportation, business, education and numerous other pillars of our society are deeply impacted by AI . Thanks to AI that the ALEXAs and SIRIs are existing in this busy world to make our life easier .

How AI impacts Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is also one such field which can be incorporated with AI to our benefit. In an ever-changing cyber landscape, it is important and rather a necessity for enterprises around the globe to stay informed and alert to counter cyber threats and attacks. To tackle this alarming issue, the collaboration of AI with cybersecurity is a powerful solution.
On one hand, artificial intelligence in cybersecurity benefits security experts by improving how they investigate, analyze and comprehend cybercrime. It improves the cybersecurity technology that businesses use to fight fraudsters and keep their customers and employees secure. Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, can be exceedingly resource intensive. It might not be appropriate in all situations. More crucially, it can be added to the arsenal of hackers who utilize technology to hone and improve their hacks.

Advantages of AI in cybersecurity

As mentioned earlier artificial intelligence is an attempt to mimic human intelligence. It has enormous potential in the field of cybersecurity. Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems can be trained to provide threat warnings, identify new types of malware, and protect critical data for businesses if used correctly. To operate effectively and protect their organizations from cyber assaults, security professionals require significant help from intelligent machines and innovative technology such as AI.

Let's have a look at some of the important advantages of leveraging AI in cybersecurity:

  1. Speed: AI can sort through vast amounts of data much faster than human analysts. When coupled with automation techniques and RPA (Robotic Process Automation), this faster analysis can deliver faster actions thus reducing the mean total time to contain a breach, a key cybersecurity metric.                                                                                                         

  2. Robustness: Although it's not the case that AI is always right, AI algorithms are typically highly consistent. This minimizes the likelihood of errors due to inconsistency, which are common errors in any human activity.
  3. Identification of unknown threats: A human being may not be able to identify all the threats a company faces. Every year, hackers launch hundreds of millions of attacks with different motives. Unknown threats can cause massive damage to a network. Worse still is the impact they can have before you detect, identify and prevent them. AI has proven to be one of the best technologies in mapping and stopping unknown threats from ravaging a company.

Downsides of AI in cybersecurity 

However, just as there are two sides to a coin, there are significant drawbacks to deploying AI in this industry. Organizations would require significantly more resources and financial investments to establish and operate an AI system.

Furthermore, because AI systems are educated utilizing data sets, you'll need to collect a variety of malware, non-malicious code, and anomaly sets. Obtaining all of these data sets is time-consuming and expensive, which most businesses cannot afford. Inefficiency in training the model can also lead to major security breaches which can often lead to situations which cannot be resolved easily.

AI systems can produce inaccurate conclusions and/or false positives in the absence of large amounts of data and events. Obtaining erroneous data from untrustworthy sources might sometimes backfire. 



Another significant disadvantage is that thieves can use AI to study their malware and execute more sophisticated attacks, which increases the risk of a cyberattack . Moreover AI is a mimic of human intelligence which can never replace human intelligence. It may be true that machines perform much more efficiently as compared to a human being. But even then it is practically impossible to completely replace humans with AI based models especially when it is into field like cybersecurity .

Use cases

1. Log analysis

AI is ideal for problems that require automated correlation and assessment of large volumes of data. The challenge for cybersecurity professionals is often to translate information (the output of device, network and system logs) into knowledge (security alerts). Human security analysts don't have the mental or physical bandwidth to process these high-volume data streams and determine which combinations of data points equate to security alerts or events.

AI tools can find commonalities across disparate data feeds and convert data points into actionable events for analysts, thereby reducing the time required to uncover and respond to attacks. Log analysis tools that rely on AI and ML include products from Splunk, SolarWinds and LogRhythm.

2. SOC Automation

Combining AI with robotic process automation (RPA) can reduce the time required to react to critical events. Essentially, AI plus RPA means that security analysts can preconfigure automated responses to ensure that if the AI uncovers a certain scenario (scenario X), the appropriate action (action Y) will be undertaken. One benefit of using AI in this context is that it enables these tools to learn over time.

3. Behavioral threat analytics (BTA)

The broad category of behavioral threat analytics (BTA) is an area in which AI provides a much-needed assist. Products that deliver BTA include those classified as user behavior analytics (UBA) or user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA), such as tools from Securonix, Exabeam and Splunk.

4. Digital forensics and auditing

Another area in which AI can assist cybersecurity initiatives is when it comes to digital forensics and auditing. These efforts require sorting through large volumes of data to determine patterns that can uncover the anatomy of attacks and help identify perpetrators. AI-based digital forensics providers include Exterro Smart Investigator, IBM, LogRhythm and Paraben.

5. Threat hunting and monitoring

Threat hunting and monitoring is another great application for AI within cybersecurity. As the name implies, threat hunting and monitoring solutions review a range of data sources such as logs, information about an enterprise environment and external threat monitoring or threat intelligence feeds to quickly determine whether an enterprise is at risk of attack.


Conclusion 

Since the inception of AI , it is highly known that in order to make the right AI system , we need the right data further we have to train the AI model with this right data which has to be further tested for bias and to ensure that it is robust. If rightly implemented AI can provide accuracy of detection , it can help accelerate investigation and further can provide us with proactive mechanisms of protection . AI can never remove the human intervention in the field of cybersecurity but definitely it can help boost the productivity as well as assist in a massive scale. Both AI and cybersecurity are technologies developed , maintained and executed by human beings , so the collaboration of them is definitely going to be a boon in the long run.

Authors :

  • Ashiq Noor Sudheer
  • Priyanshu Pattanaik


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