What’s The Future Of AI In Cybersecurity? 14 Experts Share Their Insights

  • 30 September 2019
  • Sam Mire

Speculation about the promise of AI as a cybersecurity tool is rampant, as is pessimism regarding the same topic. So let's aim for some balance, why don't we?

These cybersecurity insiders did their best to predict the future of AI in cybersecurity. Here's what they said:

1. J.J. Guy, COO of JASK

“Automation will continue to be placed side-by-side with analysts on the front lines of defense, as humans are not going to be replaced by machines. Rather, analysts’ skills and effectiveness will be enhanced by automation – enabling them to offload data crunching and other mundane tasks to focus on cognitive processes machines can’t carry out.”

2. Aby Varghese, Chief Technology Officer at UIB

The future of AI in cybersecurity is to move from AI analyzing data to AI analyzing data and alerting humans to take action to AI analyzing data and taking the actions itself. IoT, where APIs are exposed to the cloud with huge numbers of users, needs AI. That said, AI needs to evolve so that people feel comfortable handing over decision-making to a machine. Today, they’re not.”

3. Kevin Landt, VP of Product Management at Cygilant

“In the future, AI will not only enhance existing security technologies but also start to address problems where we don't have great technology solutions today. For many of today's threats, like phishing and social engineering, we rely on users to make good decisions. There's a big effort to train users on how to spot threats like these, but the users are still the weak link. AI will eventually be able to “read” emails and webpages in real time and block the malicious ones before users have a chance to be fooled by them.”

4. Omar Yaacoubi, co-founder and CEO of Barac

AI will be invaluable in overcoming the challenge of managing the growing amounts of data coming from innumerable sources, such as the ever-increasing number of IoT devices. Using machine learning and behavioral analytics, AI tools will be capable of helping organizations to correlate the huge amounts of data and information they possess and extract the most important metrics and alerts.

In terms of resources in the cybersecurity sector, while many fear that AI will come in and take away the human’s role, in actual fact, AI will be invaluable in augmenting the way the industry is operated. AI and human security professionals can work side-by-side: AI can do the heavy lifting and improve efficiency and the human can focus on getting to the bottom of a complex security problem. There’s also a huge gap in skills and shortages in resources in cybersecurity, and it would be a missed opportunity not to use AI to make up the difference to help defend against the next generation of cyberattacks.”

5. Dr. Murat Kantarcioglu, Professor of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Dallas

Very Bright. Clearly, AI would be an important tool for both the attack and the defense sides of cyber security. Defenders will be increasingly using AI to detect new and emerging attacks. Also, the attackers (e.g., state-sponsored ones) will use AI to analyze defenses and to find weaknesses suitable for exploitation.

Therefore, we will see an AI arms race in cyber security.  In addition, our research suggests that the entire AI process needs to be secured and data sources that are used for building AI models need to be carefully selected and curated.”

6. Carl Hasselskog, co-founder and CEO fo Degoo

“Technology is constantly evolving to fit the changing needs and expectations of consumers. We see AI being able to securely build communities through user data and create collective experiences based on common interests and real-life experiences. People today can connect digitally through social media and messengers, among more channels, and I believe the key functions of cloud technology – storing files, re-experiencing photo memories and sharing information – will further incorporate AI to better connect people digitally based on commonality.”

7. Chris Day, Chief Cybersecurity Officer for Cyxtera

“We see the future of AI being specialized AI subsystems, which are being applied to specific problems with increasing efficacy. As these systems become more trusted, more tasking will be turned over to them for detection and decision making, coupled with automated response and mitigation.”

8. Stacy Stubblefield, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer at TeleSign

“AI in cybersecurity is only just beginning. Eventually, bad actors will advance to the point that AI will be required in cybersecurity, not optional. Additionally, we will start to see big strides in AI’s ability to sniff out unusual behavior to identify fraudsters.

We are already starting to see this with companies using behavior analytics to determine unusual behavior and activity on a site. Lastly, we can expect companies to use AI to frustrate fraudsters by identifying them earlier and leading them down an alternative user flow, like honey potting or ghosting, preventing the fraud from occurring and creating friction in the fraudulent user’s experience.”

9. Joshua Crumbaugh, Chief Hacker/CEO at PeopleSec

“This is near and dear to me because I'm working to shape that future. Cybersecurity is not a technical problem.  It's a human problem and there is no future where we completely eliminate the humans from the equation that is cybersecurity.  I see a future where we augment the human race to be more aware, secure, accurate, and efficient.  Our IT staff won't make common mistakes, developers will write secure code, and office workers won't get company computers infected through careless behavior.”

10. David Chavez, Vice President of Avaya Incubator at Avaya

“As certain types of AI become easier to train, easier to correct for bias, and easier to be made transparent to inspection, the class of solution will be more broadly practical to adopt in the Cybersecurity space. AI will enhance infrastructure availability for Business Continuity Planning by reconfiguring network portions under (D)DoS attacks and preventing propagation into unaffected areas. Traditionally, it was nearly impossible identifying threats inside encrypted traffic, but using AI pattern recognition will assist identifying threats although the actual content remains unencrypted (preserving privacy). In the future quantum-safe environments, traffic pattern recognition can only be successful using heuristic algorithms and AI.”

11. Eyal Benishti, founder and CEO of IRONSCALES

“Today, many email security solutions require SOC teams to do a lot of manual work such as coding YARA rules to search and delete similar threats across thousands or even hundreds of thousands of mailboxes. The beginning of the autonomous future in email security is already here. AI is assuming a major role in every aspect of cybersecurity – from prevention and detection to incident response and remediation.”

12. Anuj Goel, CEO and co-founder of Cyware

“- AI has greatly improved security teams’ abilities to identify, manage, and protect against threats, in the future we’ll see AI utilized to help our ability to predict where, when and how bad actors will attack.  

– AI with a fair degree of Human Control is the future of cybersecurity. Preventing the increasing number and sophistication of attacks, identifying the daily evolution of malicious threats, analyzing the huge volume of information generated by the complex web of security tools, and responding to threats at machine speeds will be hugely benefited by the usage of AI.”

13. Raul Popa, CEO of TypingDNA

“Because there are so many people fighting the introduction of AI everywhere, especially in Cybersecurity, there is not an obvious answer. I believe that AI will make its way slowly inside all systems and we'll be able to monitor and analyze everything better, protecting people, companies, and states, but this comes at an expense that some people are not ready to pay. We'll have to wait to see how this will unfold.”

14. Rodrigo Orph, co-founder of CVEDIA

“The future of cybersecurity AI is a self-learning system that will be able to circumvent attacks from both humans and AI. It will be able to learn from past experiences to understand new behavior without algorithm updates from its developers.”


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About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.