Cyberattacks are growing in complexity and frequency. Organizations waste 196 days on average recovering from data breaches, and threat actors are continuously developing their attack tools.
Integrating AI in cybersecurity helps organizations detect threats quickly and accurately, minimizes the dwell time of attackers in networks, reduces the chance of data exfiltration or system compromise and improves visibility across all infrastructure. However, this technology poses risks to privacy and security that should be addressed.
Business leaders need to keep up with the pace of cyberattacks and their evolving tactics. Recent AI developments present a powerful tool that can help combat the growing threat landscape by quickly detecting and neutralizing attacks before they spread, minimizing data exfiltration, system compromise, or unauthorized access.
However, cybersecurity experts warn that leaders must understand the risks of using AI-powered solutions. They can expose sensitive information, lead to regulatory snags, and impact the ability to meet compliance requirements.
When AI scans systems and networks for vulnerabilities, it can identify the most severe threats and prioritize and recommend patches and security updates, streamlining the patch management process. It can also detect and respond to threats in real time, minimizing attackers’ dwell time inside the organization’s network.
The compiled intelligence of AI also supports accurate risk assessments and stronger security controls for discovered risks, speeding up incident response times and improving the efficiency of SOCs. Additionally, AI can automate time-intensive tasks, freeing up human analysts’ valuable time to focus on the most pressing issues.
Cybercriminals also use AI to improve their attacks, making them more sophisticated and effective. For example, a hacker could use a large language model to compose malware undetectable to traditional cybersecurity solutions. A cybercriminal could also manipulate AI to make it think it’s interacting with human users, causing it to behave unpredictably.
The algorithms that underlie AI can be subject to unintended and sometimes damaging consequences. This is because, depending on how the models are designed and the data used to train them, there is a potential for bias to enter into the decision-making process.
For example, an AI-based hiring system might skew results by using data on ethnicity, sex or age to discriminate against protected groups. Similarly, an AI-powered credit score might unfairly penalize certain individuals because of their zip code or income levels.
Another concern is that the growing power of AI is speeding up the effectiveness of hackers, who can develop malicious software faster than ever before. This could lead to increased cybersecurity risks for the enterprise unless robust security measures are in place.
Leaders can take several steps to mitigate these risks, including ensuring that only high-quality data is used for training and ongoing monitoring to root out unintended biases. They also need to build pattern recognition skills in their teams and provide training so workers understand the implications of using AI. This includes executives, C-suite staff, and frontline workers so everyone knows how the technology may impact them. This can ensure that any negative impacts are spotted as quickly as possible and can be addressed.
With malware attacks on the rise, AI-backed detection is increasingly essential to online security. Unlike traditional signature-based methods, which often rely on past experiences and tend to overlook new patterns, AI-based solutions leverage machine learning algorithms to analyze large sets of data and detect anomalies. This allows them to quickly identify and categorize threats, alerting security personnel or even automatically taking steps to block them.
As attacks evolve, cybersecurity teams need help to keep up. This is where AI’s scalability and speed come in: With the ability to process large amounts of data at high speeds, AI can identify and prioritize risks, automate routine tasks, reduce incident response times, and effectively protect the digital infrastructure against advanced threats.
Additionally, AI-based detection can improve the effectiveness of antivirus software by detecting zero-day malware. The technology can also scan systems and networks for vulnerabilities, prioritize and recommend patches, and help streamline patch management. This allows human analysts to focus on other, more pressing security issues and minimize the time attackers have inside the system to execute their attacks.
AI can rapidly process data and identify suspicious patterns, anomalies, or indicators of compromise in real time. This allows cybersecurity teams to respond to threats 60 times faster than traditional methods.
This speed and scalability can significantly decrease attackers’ dwell time within your systems, reducing the likelihood of data exfiltration or system compromise. It also can help minimize a breach’s impact on your business by rapidly detecting and neutralizing attacks in their early stages.
Moreover, AI can provide improved context for threat prioritization and response by surfacing critical risk analysis and giving automated actions for incident management and mitigation. This can reduce human workloads, allowing analysts to focus on more complex or strategic issues.
But there are new risks posed by the proliferation of AI in cybersecurity. For example, bad actors are using AI to target weaknesses in software or security programs, enabling them to exploit these flaws. Ensure that these vendors follow secure development practices and continually monitor their products’ safety for vulnerabilities. This can help to mitigate unexpected new risks created by emerging AI technologies. AI is an essential enabler of strong cybersecurity programs, but many unresolved risks remain.