Cybercrime is on a sharp rise. According to Radware, there were 2.3 billion data breaches in 2018 versus 826 million in 2017. This alarming trend is costing companies more and more. The average estimated cost of a cyberattack for an enterprise was $1.1 million in 2018, which is a 52% increase from 2017. Studies also show that it takes 196 days to fully recover from any data breach. Unfortunately, these numbers are expected to rise further in the coming years.
As a response, many companies are looking into artificial intelligence (AI) to beef up their cybersecurity.
What is AI?
AI is a technology that teaches machines to think and work like humans, based on certain unique algorithms and related mathematical calculations. Unlike other software that is limited by its programming, AI is programmed to expand upon itself — to continuously learn, develop, and grow using the data it receives and processes.
Why should I use AI for cybersecurity?
#1. Keep up with the growing volume and complexity of cyberthreats
New strains of malware are constantly being developed, making it extremely difficult to recognize them, let alone defend against them. Conventional security systems simply cannot keep up.
Traditional signature-based security technologies could only detect known threats. On the other hand, AI-enabled security software can look at various malware and see certain patterns to identify new cyberthreats. For example, it can flag a piece of software as new malware if it has a similar code to X, Y, or Z malware.
Detecting anomalies in the system is also one of AI’s strengths. AI can identify the smallest activities of malware and then isolate them before they can even enter the system.
This strength of AI is also handy in mitigating insider threats such as ignorance, negligence, and malicious behavior from people within the company. Since AI-enabled security software can look at patterns of computer usage among employees, if an employee is unusually downloading files from the network at two in the morning, the software can quickly flag this as anomalous behavior and take appropriate action.
#2. More secure hyperconnected workplaces
Thanks to the great strides made in cloud computing, 5G, network speeds, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile devices, and other modern technologies, businesses are seeing an exponential increase in the number and type of users, devices, networks, and interfaces that they have. For cybercriminals, this means they have a lot of new access points to target. However, since AI can learn and adapt through experience, it can make sense of constantly evolving networks and stay ahead of new attackers.
#3. Empower cybersecurity personnel
Cybersecurity work includes several tedious and time-consuming tasks such as scouring through large volumes of data and looking for anomalous data points to identify and assess cyberthreats. No wonder 56% of senior executives say their cybersecurity analysts are overwhelmed, so much so that many analysts are not able to successfully investigate all identified incidents.
AI-enabled security software can offload repetitive and mundane tasks from cybersecurity professionals so they can focus on more challenging and strategic tasks that improve the company’s overall security posture. Since AI can correlate vast amounts of data from a variety of sources, it can help security teams by flagging and risk scoring potential security incidents — those that appeared as anomalies in the system. This gives IT teams the predictive insight needed to stop threats before they become an issue as opposed to reacting to a problem.
#4. Speed up detection and response times
Human security teams cannot match the speed, scale, and accuracy at which AI-enabled security software can analyze data. Using today’s powerful processors, AI can zip through more data in minutes than humans could process in months. This allows it to list down problems and anomalies immediately. While humans will still be the ones to decide on which incidents to handle first, AI-enabled security software can automatically suggest plans to optimize responses.
AI algorithms can also be trained to take certain predefined steps in the event of a potential attack and learn over time what the most ideal response should be through the input of cybersecurity experts.
In fact, the Capgemini report shows that AI-enabled security software has reduced the overall time taken to detect threats and breaches by up to 12%. The dwell time — the amount of time cyberthreats remain undetected — has also dropped by 11%. These time reductions can be attributed to AI’s continuous scanning for known or unknown anomalies that show threat patterns.
How should I start using AI for my company’s cybersecurity?
To effectively integrate AI into your existing cybersecurity systems, you need expert guidance to help you plan, train, and prepare the groundwork so you can use AI to its fullest capabilities.
With over 10 years of experience, Umbrella can ensure the seamless implementation of AI-enabled security software. Chat with us today to get started.