Artificial intelligence is going to be (and already is) a great tool to assist the almost one million cybersecurity professionals currently active. The first and most intuitive reason why AI is going to be critical in the battle against cyberattacks, is that it’s going to reduce the workload of the cybersecurity workforce. IT professionals work up to 52 hours a week, but automation will assist them with many menial tasks, giving them some breathing room between one attack and the next.
Machine learning-based algorithms will also adapt to new threats faster than humans, as they can quickly spot the similarities between the new generation of malware and cyberattacks and other, more familiar threats. AI that has “learned” enough will be able, in due time, to detect and deal with the vast majority of relatively simple threats on its own, freeing up an enormous amount of time for tech employees.
Finally, AI-based analytics platforms that use structured and unstructured machine learning are more flexible and more efficient at correlating and understanding information detected by different tools at once. More than half of the cyber professionals, in fact, know very well that their tools often lack the cohesion and accuracy needed to provide them with reliable data they can trust.
The widespread use of AI comes with its own risks to cybersecurity, as a panel of 26 British and American experts explained in the 101 page-long report “The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation.”
First, it’s easy to understand how the same benefits that cybersecurity experts are going to enjoy from the introduction of machine learning algorithms are valid for hackers and scammers as well. Attackers can use automation to make the process of finding new vulnerabilities they can exploit easier and quicker, for example.