The threat landscape is dynamic, and it is fair to say humanity is both intrigued and scared by Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a trusted defense against cyber attacks. From birth, a newborn baby relies on interaction, information, and stimulus to grow and mature mentally, thereby ensuring it progress and overall advancement. AI—sometimes referred to as Machine Learning (ML)—is no different; the more data we feed it, the more intelligent it becomes. And the smarter it gets, the more it is able to self-learn and minimize the need for human involvement—but that’s a story for another time.
So, what’s important to remember right now? That while AI is far from being the next advancement in technological gadgetry, it is quickly becoming the type of transformative technology that encompass machines of excellence and comprises what were once only unimaginable capabilities. Many big organizations have already deployed AI to some degree, recognizing that it will shake-up their industry, provide them with an advantage, and often work in harmony with their existing business strategy. AI’s analyzing capabilities mean humans can be supported by computer-based programs that are algorithm-driven with aptitudes for problem-solving and the identifying of trends that were once impossible to detect. And it is precisely this current state of development that also makes AI the perfect candidate for stopping a great deal of cyber crime.
Did you know that 95% of cyber crime is a direct result of human error? In the past few years, media has reported the exposure of massive amounts of data—both personal and financial. A recent study by Accenture evidenced that in 2017, the average cost of a breach was $11.7 million, compared to just over $9 million in 2016. And while hackers target vulnerabilities in systems, they are also attuned to weaknesses in human behavior.
We are, at times, our own worst enemies. If we could just learn to be a little more proactive in the world of cyber crime defense, we could significantly reduce our need to be reactive. Humans are creatures of habit, and we can easily become complacent, leaving ourselves exposed to data hacks, attacks, and the like. Proactive methods that would limit the need for reactive measures include responding to security warnings on our devices when we see them and changing the default security setting on our PCs.
Researchers of the global cyber economy predict there will be 3.5 million job opportunities in cybersecurity by 2021, but the question is: will there be enough people out there with the skills required to fill these positions? Prediction in skills shortage across cybersecurity see many security specialists placing high expectations on AI to function on a higher level than human intelligence in the management of cyber threats.
AI-Assisted Attack Prevention
Experts also believe the best solutions to thwarting cyber attacks will come from platforms that merge human and artificial intelligence, like the A12—a cybersecurity platform that betters its performance over time by conjoining machine learning devices with human intellect. Unlike humans, the A12 can sift and filter millions of lines of information every single day, bringing potential threats to the attention of human intelligence. Human analysts then have the option to accept or change the threat information—but regardless of what they choose—this process assists in the swift identification of threats and enhances security.
A12’s algorithms learn from misidentifications and continue to tweak and regulate their monitoring—over time more accurately detecting breaches. Early trials suggest that the A12 has accurately predicted cyber attacks in 85% of cases. Key to this success is AI’s ability to adapt to a shifting risk environment through algorithms that adjust the baseline with every new learn.
The Synchronization of AI and Human Intelligence
Consistency and the standardization of all things data are two essential components recently embedded in The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a mandate that will support AI’s ability to accurately police systems and pinpoint posed threats. It’s imperative that AI continues to be guided by humans and not the other way around, for people can contextualize and look beyond anomalies while recognizing what machines do best—but what society does better.
Machine intelligence is educated in a way that humans cannot be. It can be trained on masses of files and often in one hit, offering a solution that maximizes internal resources. It is, however, sometimes defeatable when pitched against a human. Although not newly born, AI capabilities in the cyber world might still be considered in their infancy and like any new babe, rife with limitations that someday become critical for survival.
Using the combined mental capacity of both humans and machines, as well as understanding their strength in numbers, emphasizes how we can use machine knowledge to maximize the intelligence of humans, rather than how we can replace human intelligence. After all, our instinctive non- data-fed approach to problem-solving is something that AI has no handle on—yet, that is.