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How Is AI Used in Cybersecurity?

July 18, 2024

8 minute read

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With its broad capabilities and high-levels of computing power, it’s no wonder that professionals are eager to integrate artificial intelligence (AI). In cybersecurity, AI is especially important right now as it’s advancing both cybersecurity solutions and the cyberattacks they’re working to prevent.

With tech giants like Google, Apple, and Microsoft setting their sights on dominating the AI space, artificial intelligence is advancing at breakneck speeds with capabilities far beyond simple tasks like process automation.

AI powered solutions in cybersecurity can streamline processes, automate tasks, enhance network defense capabilities, and assist in network monitoring and threat detection and response activities.

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How AI Helps Businesses Defend Against Modern Cyberthreats

AI enhances threat detection, response, and prevention capabilities. Traditional cybersecurity measures often struggle to keep up with the rapidly evolving tactics of cybercriminals. AI addresses this, however, by analyzing vast amounts of data in real-time, identifying patterns, and detecting anomalies.

Machine learning algorithms can learn from past incidents to improve the accuracy of threat detection over time, reducing false positives and ensuring that genuine threats are addressed promptly, even if they’ve never been seen before.

Another significant advantage of AI in cybersecurity is its ability to automate routine tasks, allowing human analysts to focus on more complex and strategic issues. For instance, AI can automatically respond to certain types of threats by isolating affected systems or blocking malicious traffic, thereby containing potential damage and speeding up incident response times.

This automation is crucial in mitigating the damage of cyberattacks, especially those that unfold rapidly.

AI also enhances predictive capabilities by analyzing threat intelligence from various sources to forecast potential future attacks. By understanding the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of cybercriminals, AI systems can help businesses proactively strengthen their defenses against likely attack vectors.

All-in-all, AI's ability to process and analyze large datasets, coupled with its automation and predictive capabilities, makes it an invaluable tool for businesses prioritizing cybersecurity.

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Benefits of Using AI in Cybersecurity

There are several benefits to integrating AI technology into cybersecurity solutions, including:

  1. Continual Learning
  2. Improved Response Times
  3. Threat Identification
  4. Secure Access Controls
  5. Advanced Endpoint Protection

1. Continual Learning

AI uses data to continuously learn and adapt, in turn, improving network security over time—this is referred to as machine learning. For example, AI monitors network activity and behavior to recognize patterns, store them, and then uses that information to identify unusual behavior that could indicate malicious activity or the presence of a threat actor.

This consistent adaptation gives a business’ network security a leg up on hackers by establishing an environment in which the machine learning AI understands what normal network activity should look like and can flag anomalies.

Additionally, AI can handle a lot more data than a human team and at a much quicker rate.

Companies with a lot of network traffic have a lot of data to sort through and analyze to find potential threats. AI is necessary for data analysis because it can perform the same job a human can in a fraction of the time.

2. Improved Response Times

Detecting threats is the first step toward repelling an attack. The next is responding as quickly as possible to limit damage and downtime.

AI can analyze extremely large data sets faster and respond to any irregularities instantly, quarantining threats and flagging them to the appropriate stakeholder to review (typically internal IT or the cybersecurity team).

Having a quick response time to cybersecurity incidents minimizes the volume of downtime that your organization may experience, and substantially improves your resilience.

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3. Threat Identification

AI can identify threats that humans cannot.

With a new cyberattack happening every 39 seconds, hackers are constantly throwing unique, automated attacks at businesses and continue to successfully thwart them.

For many cybercriminals, it’s more advantageous for them to gain access and remain undetected, as they are then able to snoop around as they please, completely unbeknownst to the victim business.

Learning from past attacks, pattern analysis, and advanced threat detection allow AI to see even the smallest hints of malicious behavior within a network so it can act without delay.

4. Secure Access Controls

As we’ve mentioned above, AI is excellent at identifying use patterns and discerning if the correctly authorized people are accessing and handling data.

This is evident in AI-based authentication and access controls which limit who can access what, having a machine monitor it all 24/7.

The integration of AI into authentication protocols typically manifests in studying the login behavior of a user. The most common example of this would be flagging when a user is accessing a network from an unexpected location, like a coffee shop out of town instead of the office.

5. Advanced Endpoint Protection

More devices are used by businesses than ever before. Securing all those endpoints has become a challenge, especially when they’re used remotely and on unsecured, public Wi-Fi networks.

AI helps protect endpoints through behavioral monitoring and analysis so it can identify out-of-the-ordinary device use.

With hundreds or even thousands of devices in use by a single business being commonplace, it’s necessary to enlist the help of AI to monitor these devices 24/7 and with a quick response time to stop attacks as fast as possible.

Wrapping Up on AI in Cybersecurity

Using AI in your cybersecurity strategy is simply a must for modern businesses who are looking to develop proactive and comprehensive network defenses that minimize their cyber risk, improve resilience, and offer top-of-the-line detection and response capabilities.

AI can more effectively secure your endpoints, shorten response times to potential threats, and use machine learning to predict attack vectors, find vulnerabilities, and sniff out malicious actors.

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