CBS Intelligence Centre

August 15, 2017

Artificial Intelligence – The Future of Cyber Security?

artificial intelligence

Cyber security threats are ever-changing and ever-evolving, with experts constantly working to evolve their security methods at an equal or, preferably, faster rate. Their job is to stay ahead of the game. With the changes to how we work and manage our networks – including the addition of cloud workspaces and increased use of mobile devices – cyber criminals are continually offered fresh new opportunities to steal information. They are able to hide within networks, accessing data over long periods of time unnoticed, and they are quickly finding new and innovative ways to enter networks and remain under the radar. The unfortunate truth is that all organisations will come under threat from hackers at some point: the question is, how will you respond?

With the help of artificial intelligence, cyber security can evolve and develop without excessive manpower. Cyber security professionals can spend their valuable time looking further ahead, establishing the most likely future developments, while AI deals with the threats as they unfold.

 

What is Artificial Intelligence?

 

Essentially, AI replicates, to some extent, human intelligence and the ability to learn from new information. Artificial intelligence and machine learning offer valuable ways for systems to continually evolve, analyse and develop based on new information. AI can process new data to analyse patterns and trends. One useful metaphor used by professionals developing artificial intelligence is the human immune system, which is able to recognise threats, act against them, and then remember how to deal with those threats in the future.

The benefits of this constant growth to cyber security are manifold. Not only could AI take the pressure off security professionals, allowing them to focus on discovering the next generation of cyber threats, it can also take the pressure off your own non-security employees by recognising threats before they reach them.

 

The Benefits of AI for Cyber Security

 

Evidence suggests that the cyber security measures we often rely on the most – including firewalls, anti-virus and malware software – are easily overcome by hackers despite regular updates. Therefore, the ability to continually assess new information and make changes accordingly surpasses even what a cyber security professional could do. The added benefit of artificial intelligence is that it is able to keep working 24 hours a day, keeping your chambers safe at all hours, without breaks or sick days.

More importantly, AI can identify threats and weaknesses quickly, alerting employees so that appropriate action can be taken. Research by FireEye has shown that organisations can take up to 99 days to realise that they have had a security breach, but with AI your chambers would be alerted immediately.

AI cannot, however, replace human employees. Training of artificial intelligence requires the input of knowledgeable professionals. On the plus side, your artificial intelligence will be as intelligent as your employee, or as all of your cyber security experts put together. To keep it at the top of its game, artificial intelligence needs regular training and human interaction. Human input is, therefore, still invaluable.

Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of utilising artificial intelligence in your cyber security systems is predictive insight. Based on analysis of information and establishment of trends, AI can potentially recognise and work against threats before they take place. By collecting information, artificial intelligence systems can also establish the kind of information that your hackers are particularly interested in, allowing your security employees to act accordingly in adding extra protection to the most valuable information. This would allow for more precise, tailored protection.

 

The Future, and Risks, for Cyber Security

 

The use of artificial intelligence for cyber security purposes may well be inevitable in the near future. There is no likely end to the development of hack-technology, so there must not be any limits to our ability to protect ourselves from threats. AI will prove to be a highly useful tool, but there are, as with all forms of technology, some risks involved.

Artificial intelligence is developing quickly, and the future is likely to see it used not only in the area of cyber security, but also in areas like transport, investment, and health care. The potential for AI is immense, but there is always the possibility that as it develops and becomes more widespread, it could also be used maliciously. The attraction for hackers is clear: if they could gain control of your AI security systems, they have an easy way in.

This is only to be expected. With every new development in protection there will come a development in the way hackers work and vice versa. As it stands, artificial intelligence is the most powerful form of cyber security available to us, and it is certainly effective.

For more information on how AI technology can help make improvements to your chamber’s cyber security, contact our CBSIT professionals today.