Tech Corner

AI in Cybersecurity Uses & Applications

Shubhangi Srivastava
last edited on
July 16, 2024
5-6 mins

Table of contents

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AI in cybersecurity

With everything turning digital, Cyber Security threats have been growing each day. And a common problem for every IT Security professional right now, is how to prevent these fraudulent activities and save billions of dollars annually ?

To prevent cyber threats, it is necessary to analyse all the data and detect any such risks. That is exactly where AI comes in and simplifies this tiresome process of data analysis, data screening as well as detecting any risks. In this blog we will understand the use of AI in Cybersecurity closely.

What is Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity?

AI in cybersecurity refers to the application of artificial intelligence technologies to enhance the protection of digital systems and data from cyber threats. It utilizes machine learning, neural networks, and other AI techniques to detect, prevent, and respond to cyber attacks more efficiently and effectively. AI is employed in threat detection and response by learning normal network behavior to identify anomalies, conducting behavioural analysis to detect suspicious activities, and enabling real-time monitoring for immediate threat identification.

Role of AI in cybersecurity is to anticipate potential vulnerabilities and future attacks via predictive analytics, while automated threat hunting reduces the workload on cybersecurity professionals by identifying threats within a network. AI aids in incident response by quickly analyzing attacks, suggesting remediation steps, and automating responses to mitigate damage. It improves phishing and malware detection through machine learning algorithms that analyze email content, sender behavior, and software characteristics to identify and block threats. AI enhances Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems by correlating and analyzing security data to provide actionable insights and reduce false positives.

Additionally, AI improves Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems by continuously monitoring and adjusting access controls based on user behavior and risk levels. Overall, AI makes cybersecurity efforts more efficient, accurate, and scalable, allowing organizations to better defend against sophisticated cyber threats, though it also introduces new challenges as adversaries may use AI for advanced attacks. Thus, ongoing research and adaptation are crucial in the AI-cybersecurity landscape.

Why is AI in cybersecurity important?

Here are 7 reasons that make AI in cybersecurity important:

1. Enhanced Threat Detection: AI systems can analyze vast amounts of data quickly to identify anomalies and potential threats that might be missed by traditional methods. This capability is crucial for identifying sophisticated and emerging threats in real time.

2. Improved Response Time: AI can automate responses to certain types of cyber incidents, reducing the time between detection and mitigation. This rapid response helps limit the damage caused by cyberattacks.

3. Proactive Defense: AI enables predictive analytics, allowing organizations to anticipate and prepare for potential cyber threats before they occur. This proactive approach enhances overall security posture.

4. Handling Complexity: Modern cyber threats are increasingly complex and can involve multiple attack vectors. AI can integrate and analyze diverse data sources, providing a comprehensive view of the threat landscape and enabling more effective defense strategies.

5. Reducing Workload for Security Teams: By automating routine and time-consuming tasks such as threat hunting, monitoring, and incident response, AI allows cybersecurity professionals to focus on more strategic activities, improving overall efficiency and effectiveness.

6. Scalability: AI solutions can scale to handle large volumes of data and an increasing number of devices connected to networks, maintaining robust security in the face of growing digital infrastructure.

7. Adaptive Learning: AI systems can continuously learn from new data and past incidents, improving their ability to detect and respond to threats over time. This adaptive capability ensures that security measures evolve alongside emerging threats.

Overall, AI enhances the ability to protect digital assets by providing faster, more accurate, and scalable solutions to combat the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.

What are the threats cybersecurity industry is facing?

Cybersecurity comes with its set of unique threats, which include:

  1. A broad attack surface
  2. Hundreds of devices to protect in each organization
  3. Hundreds of attack vectors that cybercriminals can exploit
  4. A significant shortage of skilled security professionals to handle the growing demands
  5. Massive amounts of data that have surpassed human-scale processing capacity, making it a daunting task to analyze and make sense of.

How does AI in cybersecurity help prevent threats ?

AI and machine learning are increasingly important for prevention against cybersecurity threats, they can analyse large amounts of data to detect risks like phishing and malware. 

However, cyber criminals can modify malware code to evade detection. ML is ideal for anti-malware protection since it can draw on data from previously detected malware to detect new variants. This works even when dangerous code is hidden within innocent code. AI-powered network monitoring tools can track user behavior, detect anomalies, and react accordingly. 

These technologies can stop threats in real-time without interfering with business processes and can track data that escapes human sight, such as videos, chats, emails, and other communications.

What are the top 10 uses of AI in cybersecurity?

Top 10 Uses of AI for Cybersecurity

The goal of artificial intelligence is to replicate human intelligence, and it has significant potential in the field of cybersecurity. AI systems can be trained to detect threats, identify new types of malware, and safeguard sensitive data, which could be extremely beneficial if implemented effectively. 

According to TechRepublic, mid-sized companies receive over 200,000 alerts for cyber events each day, and a team of human experts cannot possibly address all of them. Consequently, certain threats are likely to go unnoticed, leading to significant network damage. To overcome these challenges, businesses seeking to succeed in the digital world must rely on AI and other advanced technologies to bolster their cybersecurity defenses. 

This article explores the uses and the benefits of AI in cyber security.

Here are top 10 uses the uses of AI for cyber security let's check them out: 

1. Artificial Intelligence Identifies Unknown Threats

Identifying all potential threats to a company can be overwhelming due to the ever-changing tactics of hackers. This makes it crucial to adopt modern solutions like AI to effectively identify and prevent unknown threats, which can cause severe damage if undetected.

2. AI Can Handle a Lot of Data

A company's network generates a vast amount of traffic, making it difficult for cybersecurity personnel to manually review all activity for potential threats. The use of  AI automatically scans and identifies disguised threats, streamlining the detection process and enhancing protection.

3. AI Learns More Over Time

AI uses machine learning and deep learning techniques to analyze network behavior and identify deviations or security incidents from the norm. This allows for immediate response and enhances future security measures by blocking potential threats with similar traits. 

AI's constant learning process also makes it challenging for hackers to outsmart its intelligence.

4. Better Vulnerability Management

It is essential to use AI in cyber security for managing network vulnerabilities, given the daily threats companies face. It analyzes existing security measures to identify weak points, enabling businesses to focus on critical security tasks. This improves problem-solving abilities and secures business systems faster than cybersecurity personnel.

5. Better Overall Security

Hackers constantly change their tactics, making it hard to prioritize security tasks. AI can help detect all types of attacks and prioritize prevention, even when dealing with multiple threats simultaneously. Human error and negligence can also pose security challenges, but AI's self-learning capabilities can make it well-equipped to handle them.

6. Duplicative Processes Reduce

One of the main use case of AI in cyber security is that, it handle the monotonous and repetitive security tasks that can cause cybersecurity personnel to become complacent. It detects and prevents basic security threats regularly and performs thorough analysis to identify potential security holes. 

With AI, businesses can ensure their network security best practices are consistently implemented without the risk of human error or boredom.

7. Accelerates Detection and Response Times

Integrating AI with cyber security enables quick detection and response to threats, saving your company from irreversible damage. 

AI scans the entire system, identifies threats early, and simplifies security tasks compared to humans.

8. Securing Authentication

Websites with user account features or contact forms containing sensitive information require an additional security layer for protection. 

AI provides this security layer by using tools like facial recognition, CAPTCHA, and fingerprint scanners to secure authentication during login attempts. This helps to detect fraudulent login attempts and prevent credential stuffing and brute force attacks, which could lead to a potential security breach on your network.

9. AI eliminates time-consuming tasks

Another way that AI can help in cybersecurity is the way it eliminates time-consuming tasks done manually by human experts. It scans vast data and identifies potential threats and reduces false positives by filtering out non-threatening activities. This helps human experts focus on more critical security tasks.

10. Battling bots

Bots are a growing threat in cybersecurity, used for malicious activities like spreading malware and stealing data. AI can recognize and block bots by identifying their patterns, creating more secure captchas, and deploying honeypots to trap them.

What are the applications of artificial intelligence for cybersecurity?

Here are 14 applications of AI in cyber security:

  1. Breach risk prediction
  2. Phishing detection
  3. Malware detection & prevention
  4. User authentication
  5. Spam filtering
  6. Password protection
  7. Bot identification
  8. Behavioural analysis
  9. Network segmentation & security
  10. Fraud detection
  11. Thread intelligence
  12. Incident response
  13. Vulnerability management
  14. Identity & access management

How machine learning is used in cybersecurity?

5 ways machine learning is used in cybersecurity:

  1. To classify data - Machine learning algorithms can classify data into different categories based on learned patterns. In cybersecurity, this helps in categorizing types of network traffic, identifying whether data is normal or malicious, and distinguishing between various kinds of cyber threats (e.g., viruses, worms, ransomware).
  2. To cluster the data - Clustering involves grouping similar data points together without prior labeling. In cybersecurity, this helps identify patterns and anomalies that indicate potential security incidents or new attack vectors.
  3. To recommend courses of action - Machine learning models can suggest optimal responses to detected threats based on historical data and learned outcomes. This helps cybersecurity teams prioritize actions and respond more effectively to incidents.
  4. Possibility synthesis - This involves generating potential scenarios or attack paths that an adversary might take, helping cybersecurity teams prepare for and prevent complex attacks. Machine learning synthesizes possibilities by analyzing existing attack patterns and vulnerabilities.
  5. Predictive forecasting - Machine learning models can forecast future cyber threats and vulnerabilities based on current trends and historical data. This enables proactive defense measures and better resource allocation.

What is the future of AI for cybersecurity?

Artificial intelligence for cyber security has its own advantages as well as disadvantages. On one hand, it improves the analysis, understanding, and prevention of cybercrime, enhancing the trust and safety of companies and customers. 

However, AI can be resource-intensive and not always practical, and it can also be used by cybercriminals to improve their attacks. One industry that benefits from AI is VPNs, as machine learning allows them to protect users from online threats posed by AI. 

The use of AI has been a topic of discussion for some time, with the ability to analyze data quickly being a key advantage of AI technology. This was highlighted two years ago when we discussed how AI and machine learning would shape the future of cyber security.

To conclude

To conclude with what is the main AI use case in Cybersecurity is that it's crucial in order to enhance IT security performance at an enterprise level. It provides analysis and threat identification that help security professionals minimize breach risk and prioritize risks, direct incident response, and identify malware attacks before they occur. 

Despite potential downsides, AI will drive cybersecurity forward and improve organizations' security posture.

Food for thought-

Here are 50 Cybersecurity Influencers that are bringing a big change in the industry.

Shubhangi Srivastava

Shubhangi is the Content Lead at Engati. With more than 4 years of experience working across various marketing teams, she specialises in user engagement, lead generation and conversions. When not working, she likes learning about various cultures across the world.

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