Here is the cold hard truth about Cyber Security in today’s world. It is a fact that most organizations are not prepared for the Cyber Security threats that may disrupt their everyday operations. Organization’s have rapidly transformed their infrastructure into a cloud-based model where their data is not only spread over disparate geographic locations, but this sensitive data may be replicated and stored at multiple cloud vendors. In this environment, Identity & Access Management (IAM) and Threat Detection & Response (TDR) are a challenge as the current set of controls are insufficient to manage and mitigate an organization’s risk profile.
In this environment, Artificial Intelligence can go a long way in helping Cyber Security professionals protect and secure organization data. Some of the factors that are currently enabling innovation in Cyber Security through AI include
- Shortage of experienced Cyber Security professionals
- Many disparate sources of data
- Large volumes of data to manage
- Adversarial nature of Cyber Threats
Although there are many areas where AI can add value to cyber security, these can be classified into two main categories. The first is understanding the threat from hackers and other malicious actors. By their very nature, malicious attacks are a blackbox for Cyber Security defenders and they cannot predict what might be coming next. AI can help build models which can predict future threats and thus enable organizations to take proactive measures to manage and mitigate the risk from these possible threats. The second category is to understand, evaluate and classify all the various sources of data which is being provided to Cyber Security systems such as SIEMs (Security Incident & Event Management). By integrating all security systems to the SIEM and enabling correlation, Cyber Security professionals can ascertain the context of any security incident such as who, what, when, where and why and take appropriate action if required.
Even though AI can provide great benefits to organizations in enhancing their Cyber Security profile, there are still significant barriers to the adoption of AI in Cyber Security. The biggest single barrier is mindset. Cyber Security professionals need to change the mindset which currently pervades the industry that it is imperative to stop all attacks. Cyber Security professionals need to understand that not all cyber threats can be stopped, and it is important to bring in AI-based Cyber Security systems that learn and adapt to Cyber Security threats over time.
Another major barrier is to foster innovation in Cyber Security Start-ups focused on AI. This will lead to passionate and innovative entrepreneurs using AI to find solutions to current and undiscovered pain points for the technology which we use in our lives. Only such an approach can lead to innovative disruption necessary in Cyber Security which will finally make our connected world a safe and secure place.