Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Security: A Boon or Bane?

While Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming most of the areas of businesses, its role is somewhat ambiguous when it comes to cybersecurity. Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Security is like a double-edged sword; it can be used either way. And this is the reason why it is hailed by white-hats or ethical hackers and is also leveraged by cybercriminals to make cyber-attacks cheaper and easier by acquiring a better understanding of the vulnerabilities of their targets. 

The entire landscape of cybersecurity has changed tremendously over the years, not only in terms of the number of data breaches but also by the nature of the data being breached. More and more sensitive information is being accessed and used fraudulently. To prevent this, cybersecurity teams of different organizations and enterprises are evaluating the option of using AI.

The success of cybersecurity teams is determined by their ability to foresee attacks before they take place and provide proactive countermeasures. Here, AI can play a crucial role. AI and ML (Machine Learning) are all about understanding behavioral norms, i.e., understanding what a normal behavior is, so that it can quickly identify deviations to prevent cyber-attacks. It does that by analysing a massive volume of data to identify relevant patterns. AI can provide critical insights that can help detect anomalies and speed up the process of detection.

The application of Artificial Intelligence in cyber Security can greatly reduce the time required for threat detection and response, and increase the efficiency of human analysts and the existing cybersecurity products. It can also reduce and prioritize security alerts to assist analysts, who otherwise, might get overwhelmed by a large number of security alerts.

However, as mentioned already, AI can also be employed by cybercriminals to make security breaches, in order to carry out cyber-attacks. AI can increase the effectiveness of cyber-attacks by identifying the vulnerabilities of the target easily. The vulnerabilities of existing software can also be exploited more efficiently by leveraging AI. It can be employed to learn the defences and tools of various cybersecurity products to make more sophisticated breaches. Further, AI-powered malware and viruses can also be created by cyber criminals.

So, while some argue that AI could turn out to be a boon for cybersecurity, others are of the opinion that the scale can be tipped the other way too. Despite all the inherent risks and limitations, there is no denying the fact that AI can enhance the effectiveness of existing cybersecurity systems. If harnessed and used correctly, it can strengthen and reinforce cybersecurity set-ups.

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