Emerging Applications of AI & ML
Updated: Jan 1
It’s no secret that humanity is rapidly increasing our dependence on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in any imaginable way. Seemingly every sector of society is utilizing AI and ML in one way or another. Cybersecurity is no exception. Many might consider AI and ML buzzwords, but make no mistake, these technologies provide real-world impacts on how we secure our systems and how our adversaries are attacking us.
AI and ML in Cybersecurity
Humans and traditional software are inferior to machines in pattern recognition for detecting malware and anomalous behavior. Systems using AI and ML anticipates future cyber-attacks and react automatically to threats by analyzing specific patterns and cycles. Security teams use AI and ML to aid them in preventing spam, denial of service (DoS) attacks, intrusion detection, malware detection, log analysis, and vulnerability scans (Maury, 2022).
Early adopters of AI include Google, IBM/Watson, and Juniper Networks. Organizations use AI for IT asset management, security control implementation, risk predictions, and incident response (Balbix, 2020). Using ML, cybersecurity systems can study trends and learn from them to thwart similar attacks and adapt to shifting behavior. It may help cybersecurity teams proactively avoid risks and react in real-time to current attacks (Zhang, 2021).
AI and ML Enabling Cyberattacks
AI and ML have many benefits for us. However, just as it helps us, it also aids our adversaries. These new advanced technologies can bypass older CAPTCHAs, speed up brute force attacks, open up new phishing campaigns, and even use our AI and ML technologies against us! By changing or deleting a few elements from medical photographs, researchers have successfully fooled ML systems that examine medical images for indications of malignancy, making the proper diagnosis difficult or even impossible for computers and humans (Maury, 2022).
Society is utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in many new and unique ways. As cybersecurity professionals, we can harness these new technologies to strengthen the cybersecurity posture of our organizations. However, as with most things in life, AI and ML are a double-edged sword. Cybercriminals can utilize the same technologies to craft new and unique attacks against our organizations. This brings a whole new suite of challenges to the never-ending cyber war.
Balbix. (2020, August 18). Using artificial intelligence in cybersecurity. Retrieved July 3, 2022, from https://www.balbix.com/insights/artificial-intelligence-in-cybersecurity/
Maury, J. (2022, February 14). AI & ML cybersecurity: The latest battleground for attackers & defenders. eSecurityPlanet. https://www.esecurityplanet.com/threats/ai-ml-cybersecurity
Zhang, F. (2021, December 2). The growing role of machine learning in cybersecurity. SecurityRoundTable.org. https://www.securityroundtable.org/the-growing-role-of-machine-learning-in-cybersecurity