Artificial intelligence (AI) is reinventing the trajectory of cybersecurity and fighting with a double-edged sword. If harnessed correctly, AI can automatically generate alerts for emerging threats, detect new types of malware, and protect sensitive data. While it has advanced us into a plethora of new technologies — think Siri, facial recognition, and Google’s search engine — it has also probed us with significant threats from cybercriminals. Put in the wrong hands, AI allows hackers to automate breach attempts and scale their attacks to be even more sophisticated and frequent than before.
According to a 2020 report from Ponemon Institute and IBM, the global cost of a data breach is about $3.86 million. To successfully protect an organization from cyberattacks and data breaches, security professionals will need support from advanced technologies and intelligent machines to get the job done. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits and different ways you can integrate AI into your cybersecurity processes to improve your security posture and reduce the risk of breach.
Benefits of artificial intelligence for cybersecurity
Here are some benefits of integrating AI into your organization.
Improve overall security posture
Cyber threats are continuously evolving and becoming more sophisticated than ever before. Oftentimes, teams have to deal with multiple alerts simultaneously, and it can be challenging to prioritize which tasks to tackle first. By deploying AI-assisted monitoring solutions, security teams get a clear view into the organization’s cybersecurity posture and can detect all types of attacks in order of severity to help prioritize which ones to mitigate first.
Handle massive amounts of data
A lot of activity happens on an organization’s network, with large amounts of data being transferred between employees, customers, and trusted associates daily. Unfortunately, even the best security teams cannot effectively protect data from cybercriminals and assess each bit of traffic for possible threats on their own. Artificial intelligence solutions are able to scale more effectively than their human counterparts and help to automatically scan massive chunks of data and detect any threats disguised as normal activity.
A number of data privacy laws regulate how organizations collect, share, and transfer user information. For that reason, every organization should have additional security features to protect personal data and sensitive information and ensure compliance. By leveraging AI-enabled compliance tools, organizations can continuously monitor enterprise and partner security posture to facilitate sustained compliance with constantly evolving regulations.
How is AI used in cybersecurity?
With cyberattacks becoming more sophisticated than ever before, you can take advantage of AI to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. In doing so, your organization can automate threat detection and respond faster when compared to traditional approaches.
Threat intelligence refers to the pool of data collected and used by an organization to better comprehend past, existing, and future threats. The information that is gathered provides visibility into an organization’s current security posture, helping to prevent potential threats to the network. AI helps to improve the effectiveness of threat intelligence in two ways: handling large data volumes and ensuring that threat information is constantly up-to-date.
Organizations often leverage security ratings to better understand their security performance and how well they are protecting information. Security ratings evaluate an organization’s cybersecurity risk using data-driven metrics that provide visibility into any information control weaknesses and vulnerabilities throughout the supply chain. To discover patterns and make new risk predictions with greater accuracy and performance, most security ratings tools leverage AI to continuously optimize learning algorithms and detect new threats. As a result, users gain unique insights into critical cybersecurity trends at scale and can use ratings to prioritize cyber threat remediation efforts.
Breach risk protection
AI-based systems can automatically predict how and where you are most likely to experience a data breach. With this information, teams can more effectively allocate tools and resources towards areas of weakness and work to patch vulnerabilities. The prescriptive insights extracted from AI technologies can help you construct and enhance security controls and processes, ultimately improving your organization’s cyber resilience. AI-enabled tools can also assist with incident response in the event of a successful breach.
Network asset inventory
To maintain a great security posture, it’s crucial to fully understand the impact of specific security tools and processes that you have implemented. AI-powered systems can give you a complete and accurate inventory of all applications, devices, and users with any access to your information systems. In addition, these tools can detect and understand where the gaps and strengths are in your information security system.
How might cybercriminals manipulate artificial intelligence tools?
More than 60% of companies believe cybersecurity to be the most relevant risk associated with the use of artificial intelligence.
It is surprisingly easy for hackers to exploit AI-enabled systems to support the scale and effectiveness of their social engineering attacks. With the help of automation technology, hackers can dramatically enhance and scale their attack techniques. In addition, criminals can leverage AI to rapidly identify and exploit new vulnerabilities in networks, devices, and applications as they materialize – making it harder to keep information secure.
Hackers can also poison an AI system and manipulate the datasets that are used to train AI. This is carried out by making unobtrusive changes to parameters and modifying input data, to manipulate the AI systems for their gain.
How SecurityScorecard can help
SecurityScorecard’s Security Ratings offer A-F ratings across ten groups of risk factors, providing visibility into an organization’s information security control weakness and vulnerabilities throughout the supply chain ecosystem.
At SecurityScorecard, we continuously introduce enhancements that optimize our Security Ratings so that users can have the most accurate understanding of risk to make smarter and more informed business decisions. We analyze large amounts of data from over 1.5 million companies worldwide and leverage machine learning to determine our risk factor weights. This provides our users unique insights into vital cybersecurity events and trends at scale and across a wide range of companies.