It is safe to say that we live in a world that has drastically changed over the last decade. Even two years ago, technologies and threats that are prevalent today didn’t exist. While the changes have seen development to such a great extent, it has also posed new problems that require new solutions. 

This statement probably rings truest when it comes to artificial intelligence in cybersecurity. 

With the onslaught of the pandemic in 2020, instances of cyberthreats saw a steep increase. At that point, there was a lot about the virus and the new normal that remained uncertain. Artificial Intelligence paved the way for automation in cybersecurity. Nevertheless, as we emerge from the global crisis, AI in cybersecurity is still in its infancy. 

Plenty of companies are still wary about incorporating artificial intelligence into their cybersecurity protocol. Although there are real benefits to this strategy, their concerns aren’t completely unfounded. 

In this article, learn all about artificial intelligence in cybersecurity as well as the pros and cons of adopting this new technology. 

Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity

As mentioned earlier, there was a boom in interest in artificial intelligence in cybersecurity in the thick of the pandemic. The interest isn’t surprising especially since the number of cyber threats increased drastically around the same time. According to the FBI, there has been a 300% increase in reported cybercrimes since the global crisis started. 

The primary draw of artificial intelligence lies with automation and pattern detection. Dealing with a multitude of threats day-to-day is daunting even for cybersecurity experts that are at the top of their field. There are plenty of tools that already make use of artificial intelligence in protecting networks and systems. This includes incident response, detecting spam and phishing, and threat hunting.

That said, there are still plenty of opportunities within the field. Most of the AI technologies that are being developed are geared towards protection that goes beyond perimeter defense and threat surveillance. 

The Benefits of Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity

The future of Artificial Intelligence in cybersecurity is undoubtedly bright. At present, automating threat detection has made it easier for cybersecurity experts to respond to and mitigate the effects of possible attacks.

More than automation, however, AI has enabled companies to address attacks without disrupting normal business operations. 

In a recent interview with Expert Insights, Max Heinemeyer, director of threat hunting at Darktrace, explained this capability by using ransomware threats as an example. He explains that during a ransomware scenario, machine-learning AIs are able to detect possible threats, even ones that have yet to reach the mainstream, and find a resolution to the problem without needing the human intervention:  

“When a compromise starts to happen, the AI then acts autonomously to isolate only the unusual activity associated with the ransomware attack—be that the initial malware infection, the infected computer phoning home, the attacker moving through the network laterally, and finally the encryption of the data. Having contained the ransomware attack before it could escalate, the AI then generates a report on the incident for the security team to read. It does all of this without disrupting normal business operations, creating a ‘self-healing’ security ecosystem wherein AI augments the human team and stops machine speed threats on its behalf.”

This completely autonomous response to a threat is the biggest benefit AI-powered cybersecurity has to offer. Nevertheless, some experts agree that AI technology isn’t quite there yet. 

The Drawbacks of Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity

Truth be told, drawbacks surrounding Artificial Intelligence in cybersecurity are mainly concerned with the infancy of the technology. The industry has mastered certain parts of AI that make it useful for cybersecurity. However, there are still gaps in most products available in the market.

“There are three parts of any security strategy. You want to be able to detect, to prevent, and to respond. It turns out that in the ‘detect’ area, we’re well underway… The other two, however, are not in place yet. For instance, once that attack occurs and you are compromised, the speed in which you can respond today is primarily gated by human effort — which is not fast enough because the attack is definitely coming from something that’s enabled by machine intelligence, advanced automation” quipped John Roese, Global Chief Technology Officer of Dell Technologies, said at the Fortune Brainstorm A.I. conference.

Roese further explains that a completely autonomous system, while great and useful, isn’t a reality just yet. As a result, most of the cybersecurity benefits companies can get from incorporating AI into their protocols only revolve around detection and analysis:

“The machine intelligence, the machine-learning technologies that allow them to process data to find vulnerabilities, that’s fairly well utilized. Full-blown, autonomous systems, not so much yet. And the main reason for that is the bad guys actually have all the time in the world. They just need to find one gap. They don’t need to respond at scale. You, on the other hand, have to react to every bad guy doing every theoretical attack, so it really has to be a mismatch on your side using automation and moving to more aggressive use of A.I. to automate the response. processes, detection processes because of this mismatch of bad actors only having to find one vulnerability and you having to protect against everything.” 

As with all cybersecurity options, there are always pros and cons to incorporating new technologies into your operation. Each company is different and it is important to analyze your priorities and identify the parts of your operation that requires professional help.

That said, unbeknownst, the world of cybersecurity is already complex. Dabbling into artificial intelligence and machine learning is doubly so. For your company to fully reap the gains of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity, it is crucial to align with experts that can take you through the complicated process. 

We at SecureBrain provide cybersecurity tools that can act as a complement to your existing programs. Our Endpoint Security Cyberattack Health Check is an automated EDR software powered by Artificial Intelligence designed to detect, alert, investigate, and remediate any threats through forensics analysis. See how it works by inquiring now!