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How Artificial Intelligence Will Change Cybersecurity

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How Artificial Intelligence Will Change Cybersecurity

Artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming integral to our personal and business lives. How will it affect cybersecurity in the next decade?

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Artificial Intelligence is Growing

Artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming integral to our personal and business lives. A recent article on Forbes noted that, while “machines haven’t taken over. . .  they are seeping their way into our lives, affecting how we live, work and entertain ourselves.” Apple, Tesla, Facebook, Amazon—these are just a few of the companies that have already begun to bring AI-infused products and services to the masses.

AI and automation is in use at 41 percent of companies. Another 42 percent are actively researching it, according to the 2019 IDG Digital Business Study.

According to Robotics & Automation News, “Machine learning and artificial intelligence are playing a significant role in cybersecurity. Automation tools can prevent, detect, and deal with tons of cyber threats way more efficiently and faster than humans. And it will continue to expand down the road.”

“Cybersecurity has emerged as an ideal use case for these technologies,” explains the article. “Digital business has opened a score of new risks and vulnerabilities that, combined with a security skills gap, is weighing down security teams. As a result, more organizations are looking at AI and machine learning as a way to relieve some of the burden on security teams by sifting through high volumes of security data and automating routine tasks.”

Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence

CPO Magazine’s just published “AI in Cybersecurity: 2020 Predictions” report concurs, writing that “the current state of AI is begging for a number of problems to be solved in order to continue effectively protecting users from malicious actors.” The extreme shortage of cybersecurity professionals is forcing many companies to leverage AI as a solution to defend their networks and make up for a lack of personnel.

Having an AI program smart enough to recognize real threats over background noise will be the real test in 2020, especially as hackers develop their own AI-powered tools.

Robert Brown, Director of Services for Syxsense, explained it this way: “Imagine being able to use AI and machine learning to identify devices that are using the internet in a country it shouldn’t be in. You could notice several user accounts that are getting locked out in a relatively short period of time, or discover a Power Shell script running on multiple machines in the same office location simultaneously.”

Being able to alert on these activities and quarantine devices until the potential threats have been reviewed is critical. It allows you to normalize safe routine activity from the activity your IT security teams are working so hard to protect you from.

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Don’t Forget the People

AI might not be the total answer. It might be all about combining human intelligence with machine learning and AI tools. With an estimated 3.5 million cybersecurity positions expected to go unfilled by 2021 and security breaches increasing some 80 percent each year, combining human intelligence with machine learning and artificial intelligence tools becomes critical to closing the talent availability gap.

Although AI and automation will play a critical role in relieving overburdened IT security teams, organizations will still require highly skilled individuals to perform high-level analysis and remediation activities. Additionally, there will be training required for machine learning to be effective.

Dark Reading observes that the combination of big data, AI, and strict privacy regulations is going to cause headaches for companies until “security and privacy professionals start innovating better ways to shield the kind of customer analytics that fuel a lot of AI applications today.

CIO.com reports Omo Osagiede, director, Borderless-I Consulting Ltd., as saying: “We need AI/automation, but we also need humans to teach it and leverage it.” Furthermore, the tools must be augmented by human intelligence to make correlations and decisions based on the systems’ output.

The Future of AI in Cybersecurity

All sources seem to agree, however, that 2020 could be the year that AI takes its rightful place as one of the keys to successful cybersecurity. Scott Matteson has this to say on TechRepublic: “Traditional cybersecurity tools such as mere anti-malware software or login audits aren’t going to be sufficient in 2020—additional resources will be needed to protect organizations and their employees from cyberthreats. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are making productive inroads in the cybersecurity space.”

“2020 needs to be the year where AI in cybersecurity moves beyond the hype and becomes common practice,” CIO.com quotes Tim Wulgaert, owner and lead consultant, FJAM Consulting, as saying. Further, IT and security leaders suggest that detection and identification of potential threats make ideal initial use cases for AI and automation.

Turn to Syxsense for More Secure Endpoints

  • Syxsense Secure is a “one-stop-shop” with vulnerability scanning, patch management, and endpoint detection and response in one package. Available as a standalone software product or alongside managed services from our expert team.
  • Syxsense Manage offers additional endpoint, OS, and patch management oversight to complete the picture of powerful and wide-ranging threat management.

Begin your organization’s journey toward airtight endpoint security with a free trial of Syxsense’s products and services.

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