What Does AI Mean in the Context of Cybersecurity?

What Does AI Mean in the Context of Cybersecurity? post image

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is being leveraged in cybersecurity to create more robust, faster detecting, and generally more advanced systems. Deep learning can be utilised to analyse behaviours faster and organise activity into two distinct categories: safe behaviour and malicious behaviour.

Security anomalies can be highlighted instantaneously, allowing for protective measures to be enacted as soon as possible. The deep analysis provided by AI can also be used to identify weaknesses so that you can resolve security issues before attacks occur.

Find out all you need to know about AI-powered security automation in this article.

How is AI used in cybersecurity?

The main purpose of AI cybersecurity is to aid security professionals in identifying and responding to threats. It can be seen as a security threat detection tool, working to analyse huge volumes of data to define behaviour patterns. From this, anomalies can be picked out. These anomalies are key indicators of security breaches and need to be investigated.

To better define the role of AI in cybersecurity, here are the main tasks it can perform:

Threat analysis, detection, and prediction

AI can be programmed to analyse large datasets. The more datasets it analyses, the deeper its understanding of behaviours and processes becomes. It can then cross-analyse different sets of data to record unusual behaviours and alert security professionals to potential threats.

Remedy suggestions

Once threats are detected, AI can also work to come up with analysis-based remediation strategies. It will consider how security concerns have been remedied in the past and determine new solutions.

Security operations centre (SOC) maintenance

AI is often used to analyse the company SOCs to judge its operational efficiency. To get the most out of this analysis, AI uses key performance indicators (KPIs) of the system to judge the SOC’s performance levels. For example, it can judge resolution rates, security alert volumes, and response times to determine the overall robustness of the security operations centre.

Training and development

In addition to analysing the performance level of your security system itself, AI can also assess and judge the value of your cybersecurity training and development materials. Based on its knowledge of your SOC, AI can highlight knowledge gaps in your learning materials and create more effective exercises, scenarios, and simulations. It can also judge the knowledge of individual employees and create personalised training packs designed to educate them on anything they’re unsure of.

Phishing attack control

A phishing attack is when a hacker emails a member of your company posing as someone in high authority. They then encourage the recipient to reveal sensitive information about your company, including system passwords. A 2024 study conducted by Egress found that, out of 500 businesses, 94% had been victim to a phishing attack.

AI anti-phishing tools are used to analyse all incoming emails to look for indicators of phishing. These indicators include email header anomalies, brand spoofing, and other impersonation attempts.

Automation

AI is also used to automate manually intensive and repetitive tasks within the realm of cybersecurity. For example, it can used for alert aggregation, response, and sorting tasks. This frees up the time of your cybersecurity professionals significantly, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.

How is cybersecurity improved by AI?

As we’ve already explored, the main benefits of introducing artificial intelligence to your cybersecurity system include quick threat detection and automated processes. However, there are several other ways in which cybersecurity can be improved by AI, including:

  • Scalability – As your business operations and data outputs increase, AI cybersecurity systems can scale to meet the demand. Regardless of the data size, AI security tools can analyse and identify threats just as effectively.
  • Innovation – Not only scalable, but AI security can also learn and adapt to emerging cyber security threats as well as customer needs. Cybersecurity is constantly evolving, and AI can be your key to keeping on top of sophisticated hacking techniques.
  • Cost saving – By automating mundane tasks, AI saves you time and resources and allows you to better direct your security budget. Plus, given that it’s constantly evolving, AI software doesn’t become “outdated” in the same way that other software does. This means you don’t need to periodically pay for new AI systems.

What are the risks of combining AI and cybersecurity?

An AI cybersecurity setup can fail due to a lack of monitoring. There needs to be a security professional on hand to assess the findings of the tool, which can sometimes prove inaccurate.

For example, unpredictable user behaviour can lead to the security system recording false positives. This is when behaviour is flagged as suspicious incorrectly.

If these false positives are not checked and verified by human intervention, the AI system may get to work on resolving them. This could lead to random disruptions to business workflows. Plus, it could result in authorised bodies being denied access to data and company systems.

How can cybercriminals use AI?

AI can not only benefit your cybersecurity system but it can also be leveraged by hackers to implement more successful phishing campaigns and data breaches.  

For example, AI-forged documentation can easily pass through spam detection tools, increasing the risk of your employees believing them to be authentic.

Additionally, artificial intelligence can be utilised to identify weaknesses in your system. Based on these findings, hackers can better plan an infiltration of your datasets.

Hackers are also using AI to power their password cracking tools. Rather than relying on guesswork, hackers can program AI to use variations of passwords until the account is unlocked.

So, as you implement artificial intelligence into your cybersecurity system, don’t consider your business safe from AI-powered attacks. Always monitor your security systems, don’t respond to personal information requests, and choose strong passwords.

Selecting an AI cybersecurity vendor

Although AI is designed to learn and adapt, not all AI cybersecurity tools will fit well with your business. Each product features different machine learning algorithms, integration options, and algorithm performance levels. For this reason, you must really consider what you need from an AI-powered cybersecurity system before selecting a vendor.

Instead of carrying out this lengthy evaluation process yourself, you can shortcut the process by using YourShortlist’s no-obligation shortlist generation service.

Contact us today to tell us your cybersecurity requirements. From there, we can create you a shortlist of vendors we know will be a perfect fit.