AI - How to Stop Hackers and Protect Yourself

Like most new technology innovations and developments, artificial intelligence (AI) is a double-edged sword.

On one hand, AI has led to smarter, more robust security for your network.

But in the wrong hands, AI can be used as a powerful tool for cyber crime.

Read on, you’ll learn how AI is stopping hacking and about adversarial AI – how the criminals are using it.

Will AI stop hacker attacks?

Analysing and improving your cyber security, and calculating risk, in now too large a job for simply human monitoring.

AI and machine learning (ML) are now critical within the information security landscape.

As organisations move away from traditional castle-and-moat security models and more towards edge computing (accelerated by the increase in remote working), cyber security is focusing less on perimeter security and more on detecting suspicious behaviour within systems.

AI cyber response

The problem with traditional cyber security is that once they are breached, it can take an age for anyone to notice something has happened. In the meantime, data can be collected and stolen, and viruses passed on.

AI software works and learns within your systems. It learns how your various software works, how your data is normally managed and about user behaviour.

It then snowballs.

The more AI learns about your system, the better it protects you by creating algorithms that assess and alert your IT staff to any vulnerabilities and violations.

The best bit? AI can continually learn and adapt. It’s far more proactive than traditional methods of cyber security.

Unfortunately, hackers are a clever bunch too.

They’ve also started using AI, but to learn about and infiltrate the networks and systems involved – this is referred to as adversarial AI. In addition, AI can teach malware how to behave in a way that appears normal, so making it much harder to flag up.

What is adversarial AI?

As noted above, adversarial AI is AI technology that’s used to cause harm, e.g., automated attacks and breaches.

For example, AI can create and use more convincing, natural language fitting the corporate culture of the target.

It can be used in the phone system, crawl social media accounts, attack chatbots and text messaging systems.

It can be used to mimic system components to gain access to sensitive data.

And, of course, it’s AI, so it can automatically learn and adapt, resulting in more successful attacks.

How AI is stopping criminal hacking.

You can see why adversarial AI is a growing concern.

And the techniques used by hackers are increasingly sophisticated, using machine learning to identify weaknesses in networks and internal systems.

Hackers use the same techniques as those defending against hacking – intelligent phishing, analysing behaviour, and the malware used can know when to hide.

Preventing hackers

Although AI can be used in the battle against cyber crime, it also must contend with the challenges unique to all of the cyber security space:

-          A huge attack surface

-          The sheer number of devices per organisation

-          Multiple endpoints and remote perimeters

-          Lack of skilled security professionals

-          Sheer volume of data

-          Remote working

-          Internet of Things

-          Etc.…

Even though the scale of challenges facing cyber security is huge, AI should be able to help with many of these issues.

It can provide benefits and new levels of intelligence to IT teams across the whole spectrum of cyber security, including:

-          Threat exposure. AI can provide up-to-date knowledge of specific threats to help prioritise threats and risks.

-          Manages effectiveness. AI can tell you where your security systems have strengths and vulnerabilities.

-          Breach risk prediction. Using AI to predict how and where your network and systems are most likely to be breached, means you can put in place measures and processes to improve resilience.

-          Incident response. AI can help you understand the causes of vulnerabilities to avoid future issues. It can help with fast responses and prioritisation.

Relying purely on human-based monitoring is a weakness in your cyber security.

AI is far more efficient and effective at monitoring, detecting, identifying and responding to threats automatically.

Hackers are becoming more sophisticated, and commonly used cyber security methods need a boost. It’s still early days, but AI looks like it will allow your cyber security teams to form powerful human-machine partnerships to protect your company now and in the future.

BlueFort Security can advise and guide you. Let us know your particular requirements and challenges. Just call 01252 917000, email or use our contact form

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