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The Impact of AI on Cybersecurity

Posted March 19, 2019

Cybersecurity experts and cybercriminals alike are using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning tools to protect and steal data respectively. Because AI and machine learning (ML) are still so new, some believe that AI is a double-edged sword for many companies because machine-learning algorithms and other types of AI use “training” data to learn how to respond to different situations. They learn by copying and then they start adding on additional information, refining their approach as they go along.

Cybersecurity - artistic concept. Image credit: TheDigitalWay | Free image via Pixabay

Cybersecurity – artistic concept. Image credit: TheDigitalWay | Free image via Pixabay

Such algorithms essentially have the power to make deductions and decisions in an automated way without any human involvement, which could spell trouble for many companies, because without dedicated staff monitoring this technology, the problem could go unnoticed for quite some time, leading to thousands and even millions in losses. That’s why it’s important for you to learn more about using AI to your advantage to protect yourself from identity theft, as well as your company and your family.

Let’s take a look at a few trends regarding the impact of artificial intelligence on cybersecurity.

1. More Powerful Attacks. As AI and machine learning advance, more powerful attacks can be expected as hackers learn to use this technology to improve the sophistication and frequency of cyber attacks. Hackers already wreak enough havoc without the use of AI so just imagine the future losses for business owners.

2. Use of AI as a Computer Security Tool. AI could help improve computer security tools by speeding up incident responses once any suspicious activity is detected. It could also help prevent email-delivered ransomware or swarming botnets that restrict access to certain websites. This kind of technology can help decode patterns and make helpful predictions.

3. Use of ML Algorithms. Companies are using ML algorithms to automate malware scanning and improve cyber defenses. Many believe it can increase productivity and improve certain business processes. However, while businesses are busy improving their methods, attackers are doing the same – using artificial intelligence and ML to give them an advantage.

4. Increase in Access to Vulnerable Devices. As more and more people jump on the mobile device bandwagon, companies are having a harder time trying to keep sensitive information safe. When employees – and even customers – access your company’s data, your systems become vulnerable. Many devices that connect to your company’s system have little or no built-in security, meaning it’s easier for hackers to gain access through those devices.

5. Using Social Media. Hackers also have the option of using AI to find personal data on social media and then using that information to customize emails in spear-phishing attacks that trick people into providing sensitive financial data. This could cause problems for many companies on social media because their employees and customers are all likely on social media, meaning the attack could seem more real coming from a known and trusted company.

What To Expect

In the coming years, you can expect hackers to get a lot smarter about gaining access to company systems. You can also expect more targeted attacks where hackers use personally identifiable information about the people within an organization from the CEO all the way down to the lowest worker in the company. Hackers will begin automating data collection on companies they’re targeting using ML to imitate the writing style and timing of communication, according to Forbes.

You can also expect an increase in efforts to combat cyber attacks. The Department of Defense created the Joint Artificial Intelligence and the Army Futures Command (JAIC) and it has plans to speed up the use of AI in military operations and provide $1.7 billion in funding to establish the AI center over the next five years.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have helped businesses increase security, while at the same time making it easier for hackers to get into “automated” systems with no human oversight. For any company, that could spell trouble. That’s why it’s important to protect yourself and your company in any way that you can. Getting some sort of protection against cyber thieves is highly recommended if you want to see minimal losses and stay in business.

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