Artificial Intelligence – a double-edged sword!

We now live in a connected world with accessibility on the tips of our fingers. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have already started making the world more accessible to all while playing an important role in cybersecurity landscape. Artificial intelligence is like a double-edged sword; on one hand, they reduce the risk of cyber-attacks while on the other hand opens its doors for the attackers/ hackers.  To have a clear perspective of what exactly are the risks posed in cyber arms race, is half the battle won.

The IT industry has witnessed a very staggering growth over its course. With the advent of distributed computing, cloud computing and big data, the last five years have really seen a rise in enterprise technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Organizations, over the years have understood the need and the demand of cybersecurity to protect users against sophisticated hackers and therefore, have started using AI use cases to provide more protection to their consumers. The increased demand of using AI and ML had further matured the cybersecurity landscape. One of the basic struggle that organizations continue to face in the cyber arms race is the security issues related to protecting user’s sensitive information.

With persistent developments by cybersecurity community, we are closer than ever in helping organizations solve the basic issues arising out of data hacks/breaches. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are poised to revolutionize the cybersecurity landscape. These technologies offer organizations, a way to enforce moral security practices and can shrink the attack to a specific surface area than to have organizations relentlessly chasing after malicious activities.

Attackers have turned more sophisticated in their manners of attacks and development of programs/ransomware. Hackers are in constant state of updating themselves and their arsenal with artificial intelligence and machine learning. The new sophisticated attacks easily evades the immature software, trespasses through the automated defense system, and steal data that can be used for the hacker’s benefit – this is all possible because the new age attacks change every time making it impossible to detect.

A holistic approach must be adapted in defending ourselves in this cyber arms race. There are various ways we can up our game against these vicious attacks that leaves us vulnerable to the masked attackers and the rest of the world. One of the first things that organizations need to do is to adapt and augment their technology to analyze data and data sharing in this new AI based world. The way the data is communicated and shared needs to be altered. Here are three ways in which the cybersecurity community can ensure we stay ahead of our adversaries and win the AI/ML cyberwar:

Step-up and stay ahead

The cyber security community need to step up and learn from the hackers about information sharing and connecting the application, endpoint, identity, network, and other security solutions; which otherwise when left separated limits the broader visibility and insights gained from the correlation of homogenous data. Artificial Intelligence in itself promises that one day all the devices will independently perform a variety of functions now reserved for humans. Data, being the key ingredient, required in huge quantity.

Dialogue and discussions

A platform needs to be established where the experiences, myths, misconceptions, perceptions and the pros and cons of AI can be discussed. At the moment, we are not at the stage where, companies are ready to connect their solutions together and ready to act autonomously on their behalf.  It is important that early adopters of AI share their lessons, it will largely help both the vendors and the rest of the organizations in the field. These discussions will help the companies, loitering on the fence, that last mile motivation they need in adopting AI and ML and join the race of making the world of data a better place.

Demystifying role of AI and ML

One need not be a data scientist to understand the working of a security model, enough and appropriate amount of information supporting it would suffice and quench the thirst of organizations wanting to understand the solution and its working. There are vast applications of AI and ML and organizations need to be able to look past what is available and try to understand the mechanics behind it. The mystery surrounding the security solution needs to be demystified for organizations to be comfortable with AI based solutions and for them to roll it out more broadly across their environments. The trust of organizations in these models will help establish predictable models for assessing future risks.

Manage Digital Risk

RSA is operating at the crossroads between business and security to ensure that our customers can create an explicit linkage between what security technologies indicate, and what that means in terms of risk to their business; leading to better business decisions and more efficient information security investments.

RSA calls this Business-Driven Security. Empowering organizations of all sizes to take command of their digital transformations with visibility, insight and action, to manage digital risk and ensure protection of what matters most.

(Image Courtesy: www.theconversation.com)

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