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How Artificial Intelligence Defends the Cyber Security Attack?

October 14 2019
Author: Blogauthor

We are living in a digitized world where things are changing at lightning speed. We encounter innovations and technologies that simplify our lives. However, every positive development has some factor on the flip side which needs to be taken care of. For instance, as information becomes easily available, there are security threats to data. It becomes imperative to devise methods and technologies to secure digital data, in other words, provide cybersecurity to digital data.

As technology grows, we are witnessing a growth in cyber crimes with hackers continuously leveraging new technologies. It becomes essential to develop cybersecurity systems that will protect data, computers, and IT systems.

Let's take a look at various Cybersecurity needs and threats.

Information Security

Information has an extensive span. It can include anything such as your credit card details, your personal details on social media to confidential information of the government. It can be physical or electrical. Information security entails preventing unauthorized access, usage, disclosure, destruction, modification of information in any way.

Computer Security

Computer security implies prevention and unauthorized use of your computer systems. Computer security protects your computer systems and data from theft, harm, and unauthorized usage.

IT Security

IT security implies a set of cybersecurity strategies to restrict unauthorized access into organizational assets that include computers, networks, and data. IT security prevents attack by cyber hackers thereby maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive information.

Cyber attacks are a global phenomenon. It is interesting to note the reasons why cyber attacks are committed.

Cyber Attacks may be executed for:

  • Financial gains
  • It could be for political motives
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Carelessness on the part of employees
  • It could also be for state or nation attacks

What are the cyber threats that data and systems are vulnerable to?

  • SQL Injections
  • Cross-site Scripting
  • Malware
  • Phishing
  • Denial of Service (DoS)
  • Server Misconfigurations
  • Sensitive Data transmitted in plain text

Cyber threats and cybersecurity measures have been in existence for decades. Hackers have used innovative methods for hacking and cybersecurity professionals have had to find solutions to prevent damage due to these hacking methods.

Here’s a brief overview of the evolution of Cybersecurity:

The earliest threats to computer systems were way back in 1970 which were not introduced with any malicious intent.

However, the Morris Worm, in 1989 was the first widespread instance of Denial of Service (DoS) attack. This attack affected nearly 6000 computers connected on the internet. This worm slowed down the computer and had the capability of attacking the same computer several times. This led to slowing the speed of the computer drastically until it finally crashed.

The way of responding to this worm was by disconnecting regional networks for several days. The networks would then be cleaned, and the exposed flaw was rectified such that it was free of the risk of recontamination.

Since the system of shutting down the entire network was not a viable solution, CERT (Computer Emergency Response Teams) was established to respond to such emergencies.

CERTs were the first big players in the field of cybersecurity. However, their limitation was that they could respond after the damage was done and couldn’t prevent an attack.

As a result, throughout the 90s, there was rampant growth of different types of virus on the internet. Viruses which started with the intent of trolling soon grew out of proportions and then evolved into trojans, spyware, and other malicious forms.

When the internet becomes vulnerable to becoming saturated with viruses, antivirus made its entry into the software industry.

Antivirus programs were developed which could detect viruses and prevent them from executing. Over a while, antivirus programs have continually evolved to counter various malicious programs.

The antivirus companies of the 90s were able to take care of most attacks for nearly 20 years. However, with the coming of the digital age, attacks became more advanced.

One of the worst cyber attacks was when details of over 40 million credit cards were hacked from a retailer’s POS.

The cybersecurity measures being used were incapable of addressing an attack of this magnitude.

It was in 2014 that AI, Machine Learning and behavioral detection were first employed for cybersecurity.

With time the implementation of AI for cybersecurity has been on the rise. According to Cisco’s Annual Cybersecurity News Report, nearly one-third of CISOs have adopted AI for more effective cybersecurity.

What exactly is AI-enabled Cybersecurity?

AI helps curate threat intelligence from millions of research papers, blogs, etc. to provide insights that can fight through several daily alerts in minimum response times.

AI consumes large volumes of structured and unstructured data. Then applying machine learning and deep learning it uses its knowledge for understanding cybersecurity threats and cyber risks.

Artificial intelligence gets insights and applies reasoning to identify relationships between various threats such as malicious files, suspicious IP addresses, etc.

Because of the confidence and speed that AI-based cybersecurity systems offer analysts, AI cybersecurity systems have become popular. We are on the threshold of a stage when cybersecurity without AI will be inconceivable.

Why are we not able to respond to cybersecurity threats without AI?

As per AI Stats News, 69% of organizations feel that they cannot respond to critical cybersecurity threats without AI!

This is mainly because legacy systems are incapable of responding to the threats the digital age data, networks, and systems are exposed to.

Malicious programs have become more advanced with time and are capable of hiding themselves more efficiently. Additionally, they are able to alter their own code which makes their detection impossible for the conventional methods.

An AI-based cybersecurity system is capable of identifying malicious behavior patterns in network traffic, websites, and files being introduced to the network.

Benefits of AI in Cybersecurity:

Accuracy

AI-based systems are very accurate at detecting security breaches.

Speed

AI-based systems are able to detect threats and take corrective action within a matter of seconds so that the effect of the attack is minimal.

Volume

Since AI automates the process of detecting cyber threats, it is capable of analyzing large volumes of activity taking place across a company’s network.

Learns with time

AI along with machine learning is able to learn the normal behavior and traffic and can quickly detect aberrations from normal behavior and identify malicious attacks.

Cost-effective

AI-based cybersecurity systems are economical.

It, therefore, comes as no surprise that AI is predicted to be the future of cybersecurity with massive AI investment in cybersecurity.

Artificial intelligence in the cybersecurity market is projected to reach USD 38.2 billion by 2026 when compared to 8.8 billion in 2019 at the highest CAGR of 23.3%!

While AI-based cybersecurity systems offer several benefits, they are not bereft of their share of issues.

AI challenges in implementation:

Hackers have always been able to overcome firewalls, antivirus, anti-malware software, etc. Hence, finding a way to attack AI-based security systems are also possible for them.

When an AI-based system is implemented, it uses large volumes of data for learning for preventing breaches.