We've talked about the challenges to AI's adoption in the cybersecurity world, and it's a lower barrier than exists in less tech-friendly sectors. On top of that, there are significant benefits that the most cutting-edge AI could deliver to those constantly looking for an edge against cybercriminals.
Some cybersecurity professionals shared with us their insights into the greatest benefits AI could bring to cybersecurity. Here's what they said:
1. Chris Day, Chief Cybersecurity Officer for Cyxtera
“Truly effective AI can bring powerful and adaptive detection and decision making to difficult threat detection problems. We have seen examples of machine learning and AI that can detect activities by utilizing extremely complex matching that no human being could ever hope to replicate.”
2. Omar Yaacoubi, co-founder and CEO of Barac
“For us, the main benefit of AI in cyber is it allows enterprises to see inside encrypted traffic flows in real-time, checking for malware and threats without the need for decryption.
One of the many challenges that an increase in encryption adoption has brought about is the rise of encrypted malware. This new attack vector has seen hackers take advantage of the very thing that makes encryption attractive – impenetrable data flows – so are hiding their malicious code amongst regular encrypted traffic.
The issue here is that traditional cybersecurity solutions are unable to detect this hidden malware without employing the decryption-encryption strategy, which comes with a vast amount of problems. Where AI can help is that, instead of having to decrypt all the traffic to search for bad data, and then re-encrypt and forward the good, it is capable of analyzing the metadata of the traffic, rather than the actual contents. This relieves the huge amount of work that is involved with the decryption strategy, as AI is able to detect the malware through the metadata in real-time, and it also forgoes any privacy issues, as none of the data is being decrypted.
As AI is forever learning and evolving, it is the perfect tool to spot malware in the constantly increasing and changing amount of encrypted data that’s out there. There’s a huge potential for AI in this arena, and it’s only just getting started.”
3. J.J. Guy, COO of JASK
“The most valuable benefit in the technology is guiding security operations in what exactly to do with threats once they hit the enterprise. The ever-increasing sophistication of cybercriminal activity is requiring security operations teams to rethink how they use people, process and technology.
The antiquated practice of running a SOC as a human-led 24/7-tiered analyst system using a SIEM or log management tool to correlate alerts for manual investigation has proved inept. To solve this, enterprises are reimagining the notion of the SIEM/SOC platform where intelligent automation is the driving force in alleviating the data burden facing today’s analysts.”
4. Anuj Goel, CEO and co-founder of Cyware
” The ability to analyze the monumental amount of ever-increasing data and do it more accurately than human analysts at machine speeds.”
5. Raul Popa, CEO of TypingDNA
“The ability to analyze everything in realtime without human input is an amazing benefit. This gives us the ability to react before an actual breach. We couldn't do this any other way.”
6. Stacy Stubblefield, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer at TeleSign
“Where fraudsters have found ways to ‘use the machines against us,’ security experts are investing in exploring, testing and implementing ways that AI can support a new frontier of cybersecurity. Security solutions like phone verification at new account registration and two-factor authentication to prevent account takeovers and fraudulent transactions have already helped online and mobile application companies reduce fraud and protect their valuable users.
Artificial Intelligence, however, has enabled security experts to build fraud detection systems capable of analyzing massive amounts of end-user-related collected data in order to identify potential fraud risks in real-time and with significantly improved accuracy.”
7. Eyal Benishti, founder and CEO of IRONSCALES
“AI speeds up cybersecurity incident response by reducing false positives, improving prediction and increasing the efficiency of SOC teams. As AI handles 90% or more of cybersecurity incidents – most of which are false alarms – SOC teams will be freed up to focus on responding to only the most critical threats.”
8. David Chavez, Vice President of Avaya Incubator at Avaya
“Recognizing repeat attacks seen previously or variants the exhibit striking similarities to previous attacks. Complex authentication techniques involving Multi-Factor Authentication will involve video, voice, text and other behavioral patterns combined. AI will assist in combining more complex authorization mechanisms in constantly mobile and (private/public/hybrid) cloud environments.”
9. Aby Varghese, Chief Technology Officer at UIB
“The #1 benefit AI brings to cybersecurity is predictive analytics. The abilities of AI to analyze data, make predictions based on that data, and then take the best course of action are game-changers — e.g., we don’t think twice now about auto-scaling, where machines make and then execute on their decisions.”
10. Dr. Murat Kantarcioglu, Professor of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Dallas
“Clearly automation is an important benefit AI brings to cybersecurity. It is impossible and quite expensive to go over all the cyber security incident data. Furthermore, novel zero-day attacks could be only detected by using AI techniques such as anomaly detection quickly and efficiently since signature-based techniques do not work for such attacks.”
11. Carl Hasselskog, co-founder and CEO fo Degoo
“AI is a new paradigm enabling you to solve problems previously regarded as science fiction. In many ways, AI can be seen as an amplifier to computing. Any algorithm that was previously limited by the imagination of the programmers’ ability to define rules to the computer can now be solved more efficiently with the technology. Likewise, cloud computing is in many ways democratizing AI. If it hadn’t been for cloud computing, the resources required to run large scale AI algorithms would have only been available to the tech giants. In this way AI + cloud computing is the classic case of 1+1 where both amplify the value of the other.”
12. Vinay Sridhara, CTO at Balbix
“Corporate security teams are often overloaded with the mountainous task of keeping tabs on the tens (or hundreds) of thousands of digital assets connected to their organization’s network. What’s more, 51 percent of organizations report a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills, according to ESG’s annual survey.
AI has rapidly gained interest as a valuable approach that can help security teams to monitor the swathes of data being generated from all devices, apps and users present in a network for potential vulnerabilities or cyber-risks. Premier AI-powered platforms even provide prioritized steps to remediate issues in order to drive cyber-risk reduction throughout the enterprise, enabling them to better protect their customers’ information.”
13. Emma Maconick, Partner in the Intellectual Property Transactions Group at Shearman & Sterling
“AI drastically increases the effectiveness and efficiency of cybersecurity. In allowing for large-scale data analysis and anomaly detection, AI reduces the manpower it takes to monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic, email communications, unusual behavior and more. It reduces the time taken to detect threats or breaches, which can often minimize damages, and in many cases, it lowers costs for security teams.”
14. Joshua Crumbaugh, Chief Hacker/CEO at PeopleSec
“The greatest benefit that AI can bring to cybersecurity is to monitor and protect critical systems that may have limited bandwidth for external assistance. These systems include satellites, critical infrastructure like oil pipelines, our transportation, and distribution systems, and even our military's weapons. AI needs to help us better protect these critical systems. After all, we don't want the Chinese hacking our satellites.”
15. Rodrigo Orph, co-founder of CVEDIA
“AI allows for quicker and more precise threat detection. Traditional data analysis would potentially leave systems vulnerable for hours. AI is able to analyze complex information much faster than humans and act instantly without intervention.”
16. Kevin Landt, VP of Product Management at Cygilant
“AI magnifies the human security resources that you have. It can handle a lot of the workload that used to be done by security personnel, freeing those people up to take on more high value investigative or planning tasks. With a persistent shortage of trained cybersecurity experts today, AI can help make sure companies are getting the most out of their security resources.”
17. Chris Bates, VP of Security Strategy, SentinelOne
“What once took a trained and tenured SOC analyst is now solved with applied AI. This allows businesses of all sizes to leverage capabilities that were once available only to the world’s most advanced and largest enterprises – or capabilities that were never available before. And in large enterprise environments, highly trained analysts are now able to focus on investigation and response of mission-critical attacks instead of wasting time researching and linking individual events.”
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