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How AI Is Becoming the Next Frontier in Cybersecurity

The growing threat of cyberattacks is forcing enterprise to come up with new methods and innovative solutions to address the problem

In 277 days, a person can circle the world 148 times by plane. A person can become pregnant and give birth, and an athlete can complete 144 Iron Man races. For businesses, it’s the time it takes on average to discover a hacker has created a lot of mischief within their organization.

Though most large enterprises invest millions of dollars in cybersecurity, it’s virtually impossible to analyze the thousands of pieces of data that enter and exit any particular organization through servers and client devices like PCs, tablets and smartphones. Cyberattacks will cost companies worldwide an estimated $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, growing 15% year on year, according to research from Cybersecurity Ventures.

The problem?
A data overload.

With more people working remotely since the onset of the global pandemic, companies have to police many more devices – from PCs and laptops to smartphones and tablets.

Typically, companies either inspect packets of data as they come in (only 20% on average), or scan and index it for sleuthing later, only compounding the data velocity and volume. As the amount of data generated by each company grows exponentially, the potential to miss threats grows instead of shrinking.

And, adding the complexity, hackers have gotten extremely talented at using false credentials to get inside the data center. It is no longer sufficient to defend the perimeter, enterprises must assume a breach has already happened and an attacker is already in the network.

Enterprises are rapidly turning to zero trust – assuming that anyone coming into the organization will be a bad actor. The AI-driven approach to cybersecurity provides the scale to cover all the relevant machine and network traffic along with the adaptability to recognize many new threats and vulnerabilities that cybersecurity teams and their software tools haven’t seen before.

All Heads Turn Toward AI 

Artificial intelligence has become a crucial tool in the fight against cyber attacks. By leveraging the power of machine learning and other advanced technologies, AI-based cybersecurity systems are able to detect and therefore prevent attacks with a level of speed and accuracy that is unmatched conventionally.

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Novel viruses often known as zero-day threats infiltrate data centers before the security team can widely circulate updated signatures. The problem security teams face today is traditional cyber applications are not able to update malware signatures quickly enough. Advanced malware modifies itself daily or even hourly while old-school threats were recognizable and unable to change once released into the network. AI can be trained to detect such threats by scanning for suspicious behavior or traffic patterns opposed to known signatures.

Companies must adopt AI that learns from past attacks and adapts to new threats, making it more effective at detecting and preventing future attacks. Additionally,  AI-based cybersecurity systems can help to prevent attacks by automatically implementing countermeasures blocking suspicious traffic, isolate infected systems, and even roll back any changes made by an attacker. This can help to minimize the damage caused by an attack and prevent it from spreading to other parts of the network.

Getting Started in Cybersecurity with AI

The key to employing AI in the enterprise is leveraging the human-machine connection. Traditional cyber professionals can no longer effectively defend against the most sophisticated threats because the speed and complexity of attacks and defense have effectively exceeded human capacities.

Data scientists and other human analysts already in place in the enterprise can  use AI to look at all of the data objectively and discover threats. Breaches are going to happen, so data science techniques using AI and humans will help find the needle in the haystack and respond quickly.

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Employing Customization and Teamwork

Just as recommender systems serve every consumer on the planet, AI cybersecurity systems will accommodate every business. Tailored solutions will become the No. 1 need for enterprises’ security operations centers as identity-based attacks increase.

Cybersecurity is everyone’s problem, so companies should become more transparent and share various types of cybersecurity architectures. Democratizing AI enables everyone to contribute to the solution. As a result, the collective defense of the ecosystem will move faster to counter threats.

With the ability to quickly and accurately identify and prevent attacks, AI-based systems offer a powerful tool for organizations looking to improve their security posture and protect against cyber threats.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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