Cybersecurity is one of many areas in which artificial intelligence (AI) provides a wide range of benefits. The long-term increase in cyberattack numbers and variety continues to evolve. AI and machine learning can help security specialists and IT professionals keep pace with cybercriminal innovation by:
- Automating threat detection.
- Creating solutions that respond more effectively than conventional software-driven or manual protection methods.
- Adding to an organization’s cyber defense toolkit of hardware, software, and best practices.
Detecting New Threats
Security professionals and data analysts can use AI to spot cyber threats. Traditional cyber defense methods such as visual patch inspections can’t keep pace with the number and variety of malicious viruses, trojans, and other malware created every week. The need for analytics speed and broad-based behavior recognition makes AI an excellent cyberdefense tool.
By using sophisticated algorithms with high-speed data analytics software, security specialists can train AI systems to detect malware and recognize network anomalies—including subtle behaviors of ransomware or malware attacks—before malicious code enters an organization’s IT system.
AI also enables superior predictive intelligence by using natural language processing. AI curates data by mining cybersecurity articles, news reports, and threat studies for relevant information. This capability can help design new prevention strategies by providing new threat intelligence about anomalies and cyberattacks.
AI-based cybersecurity systems with natural language capabilities can also document cyberattack trends of in specific industries and geographic locations. This threat intelligence informs organizations about likely attacks to their IT infrastructures and ways to neutralize them.
Defending Against Bots
Manual responses cannot defend against the sophisticated threats posed by botnets. AI and machine learning algorithms build a thorough understanding of website traffic and distinguish between search engine crawlers, destructive bots, and humans. AI provides the high-speed capability to analyze vast amounts of data. And it enables cybersecurity teams to adapt their strategy to a continually altering security environment.
AI systems can help describe and document IT asset inventories. These detailed records describe all devices, users, and applications and their various levels of access to different IT systems. AI-based systems use this information as well as known vulnerabilities, threats, and active exploits to predict future system disruptions. The goal: to help security specialists plan and assign resources to systems and equipment with the greatest vulnerabilities. These solutions also provide AI-based analysis and suggestions. Organizations can use this information to improve controls and processes that protect sensitive, high-value information.
Behavior-Based Endpoint Protection
Remote workers are using more and more devices. AI plays a crucial role in securing these web-connected, Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Antivirus solutions and VPNs help defend against ransomware and malware attacks. However, they are typically based on unique identifiers called signatures. Over time, AI-driven endpoint protection establishes baseline behavior for each endpoint. When the security solution establishes baseline behavior, it recognizes events and activity patterns that lie outside the norm. When this occurs, an alarm goes off, and a security response begins immediately.