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Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, you can ask Siri for anything. From quick google searches to the use of facial recognition, there are many reasons to be thankful for AI. However, as a business owner, what can AI do for you? More importantly, how does AI affect your company’s digital security strategy? When it comes to cybersecurity, AI is a double-edged sword. It is essential for the war against cybercrime but can also be weaponized by cybercriminals. To better understand this paradox, you must look at the relationship between AI and cybersecurity from two angles.

Artificial Intelligence As The Future of Cyber Security

Your business probably has a multi-level cybersecurity strategy in place. Most modern businesses have a layer of firewalls and IT companies such as ITA a managed IT service provider, have set up network security solutions to block any malicious access. An additional layer of antivirus and antimalware software is often in place to deter unwanted access that goes beyond firewalls. Intrusion detection and prevention systems come last, for added measure. Despite these strategies, cybercriminals can still get access to your network. In fact, according to a 2018 report by Cisco, cyber-attacks are continuously on the rise.

AI is your business’ knight in shining armor. It can detect and prevent attacks that would take months for your personnel to notice. Human limitation is a reality that not many are willing to come to terms with. Even after hiring top-rated IT professionals to ensure your network is safe, there will still be breaches. Unlike your staff that follows an 8-5 schedule with breaks on weekends and holidays, cybercriminals work round the clock. Thankfully, AI does not need time off either. It works round the clock and can respond to attacks in milliseconds.

The proof of AI’s potential is in the results of a recent survey by Capgemini Research Institute. Out of 850 cybersecurity executives from 10 countries, 75% acknowledged AI’s quick responses to breaches, 69% agreed that AI is a necessity for cybersecurity, and 3 in 5 firms acknowledged AI’s role in improving cyber analysts’ efficiency. It is clear that AI improves cybersecurity. It improves existing solutions and enables the creation of new ones to fit the uncertain nature of cyber-attacks.

How does this realization impact your business’ digital security model? You can merge AI into your existing cybersecurity functions to ensure your networks, data, and customers are safe from recurrent attacks. Among others, you can merge AI into login techniques by using biometric data, threat detection system by using predictive analytics and system access by using conditional authentication. These are just a few examples of areas that would benefit from AI; there is more. While making these changes, you must invest in training personnel on how to get the most out of your upgraded cybersecurity system.

Artificial Intelligence As An Enabler Of Cyber Crime

While you rave about the benefits of AI for your business, it is important to acknowledge that it also has the potential to hurt you. Just as AI becomes more accessible for use in cybersecurity, it becomes accessible for use in cybercrime. The costs of adopting advanced technology keep decreasing, while accessibility and ease of use increase. Consequently, the attacks your business face could become more sophisticated.

The danger of AI lies in human complacency. While trusting advanced systems to take care of every imaginable threat, your staff will easily lower their guard when faced with compromising situations. Obviously, the belief is that no threat can bypass your advanced AI-powered security systems. Such an attitude overlooks the existence of adversarial AI.

Adversarial AI is simply that which is used for malicious purposes. No matter how well built your machines are, they do not have the discerning ability that humans have. When incorrect data is intentionally keyed in, machines become limited to results based on that data. Hackers are constantly trying to trick AI networks into misidentifying various objects by modifying their input. Their efforts are bound to pay off at some point. This will have disastrous results for your business. Adversarial AI is the dangerous, yet often overlooked, by-product of incorporating AI into cybersecurity systems.

Final Take

On one hand, AI is beneficial for cybersecurity. It has the potential to improve existing strategies while creating room for the invention of new ones. It identifies and prevents malicious attacks faster and more efficiently than any human being can. Therefore, it will play a crucial role in the future of cybersecurity. On the other hand, it can be exploited by cybercriminals. Because machines rely on input, any maliciously modified data that is keyed in can have disastrous results.

When weighing the pros and cons of AI, there is a clear winner. The advantages of incorporating advanced technology into cybersecurity are too many to be ignored. Ensuring your business has appropriate resources to use AI effectively is the best way to mitigate the risks that come with it. With this approach, AI will be your friend.

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