Digitization is growing at a very fast pace, which is touching every aspect of our lives. To truly apprehend the role of AI/ML in cybersecurity, we need to understand how cyber technology and its usage has evolved.
By Shankar Karthikason, Averis Group Head of Cyber Security Strategy, Operation & Advisory
The digital era exposed us to various threats. The importance given to cybersecurity has increased tremendously. From a security professional’s perspective, the need for AI and ML is strong; looking for ways to automate the task of detecting threats and flagging malicious behavior, means moving away from manual methods which will free up time and resources to focus on other tasks.
With today’s fast-moving evolution, it’s impossible to deploy effective cybersecurity technology without relying heavily on machine learning and It’s impossible to effectively deploy machine learning without a comprehensive, rich and complete approach to the underlying data.
Cybercriminals have their ways of means to outreach potential targets in this borderless world. Over the last decade, the rise in identity theft, data breach, and money loss raised exponentially. This is where AI/ML tools and techniques are being developed to play a significant role to fight against these cybercrimes.
AI and ML are becoming major players thanks to the very fact that they’ll stop threats in real-time without impacting the day-to-day operations of the business.
Further, these technologies can keep track of data that escape the human eye, including the growing volume of transactions, video, chats, emails, and more.
Investing in AI without a clear, well-established, and mature cybersecurity program is like pouring money down the drain. One may fix one issue but may end up creating more than that or may even overlook critical and urgent issues.
So things you may want to consider firstly:
1. Identify your business needs
It’s important to first identify your business problems AI is presumably to resolve. Assess every paint point and evaluate how AI potentially will help to resolve.
2. Evaluate your companies readiness to adopt and support AI
Discover the main concern and issue surrounding your business and take a step to check if your organization is ready to adopt AI. IT infrastructure plays a fundamental role to manage and analyze the data set of AI. AI requires rich data to perform its task effectively in order for you to obtain the desired result. Start with a small sample and move on from there to see how it performs.
3. Prioritize the main values for your business.
One’s business need has been assessed, understand the business and financial benefits. Make sure to cover all possible AI applications as part of your short and long-term goals.
4. Look for valuable AI services.
Developing an AI system may take lots of time and resources. Still, there are AI service providers with industry expertise to help you understand the data needs of AI and simplify the AI integration for you.
Points to Remember for Convincing Executives to Invest
1. Do not re-invent rather just plug-In
Avoid telling the board that their entire IT investment will be replaced with some advanced product. Look into AI solutions that can be plugged into the existing system rather than redo entirely.
2. Show the numbers
Executives need the numbers such as data and funds saved. AI provides clear advantages here.
“A Deloitte study found 83% of early AI adopters have already achieved moderate to substantial economic benefits.”
3. Think long term
Do not look into the short-term impact of AI on your business but rather think beyond. Showcase the forecast of business impact and consequences of not analyzing and learning from your data.
AI/ML may already be in most organizations’ to-do list but ones should focus on how they may complement existing systems and business plans rather than boosting the hype in order to obtain internal approval. Getting buy-in on something which is new may be challenging but neglecting the growth and adoption of technologies such as AI may cause potential repercussions.
4. AI and job security
Bayt.com Co-founder and CTO Akram Assaf explains that “most risks with AI come from organizations abandoning their responsibilities. You can’t just install a system and expect it to do the job for you. That’s not how it works, and even advanced cybersecurity systems powered by AI need to be regularly maintained and updated.”
Cybersecurity providers tirelessly introduce ways to prevent and remediate threats brought by threat actors but as soon as these measures are developed, cybercriminals develop new threats to overcome this.
To stay ahead of the curve, AI emerged as a crucial tool for cybersecurity providers. AI helps to strengthen the defensive measure and speed up the response time, but it is yet to reach perfection. AI advances cybersecurity in powerful ways but will not replace human intelligence, at least for now for especially in identifying and mitigating threats. It is a common misconception that AI will replace human intelligence. AI provides the mean of improving the accuracy and efficiency of data being analyzed but when it comes to strategizing and problem-solving, the human element still plays a vital role.
Cybersecurity professionals are still required to differentiate between good and bad data and to tell whether the data is reliable. They need to frequently review the data to ensure relevancy and accuracy. AI will produce bad analyzes if the data is inaccurate, flawed, or even biased.
At least for now, AI has not reached the level of developing complex strategies or thinking critically through complicated scenarios. People may use AI to assist with thinking through problems but ultimately it’s humans who will make the decisions.
AI will undoubtedly change the way businesses operate, creating a safer, more efficient, and data-driven working environment, and this will affect jobs but as technology improves, machines will need to be updated and replaced.
Jobs will always be available for those who understand the core working of AI systems.
5. AI will replace some jobs
AI will not replace all the jobs as the human role is vital to strengthen AI.
But it is inevitable for humans to make mistakes where computers on the other hand not influenced by human error.
Machines react based on a set of instructions that are pre-determined and execute them out such as data entry jobs. AI may potentially take over such jobs which require performing routine and mundane tasks such as typing, copy-pasting, and transcribing.
In fact, AI may compliment on top of job to provide additional pair of eye to verify your work. Aside AI may assist in dangerous jobs which may put human life at stake such as mining, factory work, and machine assembly.
AI/ML can significantly change the cybersecurity landscape but it can pose both a blessing and a curse to businesses and customers.
On the other hand, AI can be very resource-intensive and may not be practical in all applications. More importantly, it also can serve as a new weapon for hackers who use the same or even better-enhanced technology to improve their cyberattacks. With the growing number of various digital devices, these hackers already have the opportunity and capability to launch rapid and complex attacks. AI then may soon offers the means to either successfully secure or successfully attack.
It may sound cliche but it’s no longer a question of if an organization will be attacked, but when. Being said cybersecurity personnel need to get out in front of this challenge now by leveraging AI/ML-assisted security solutions that provide the right and fast detection and response capabilities in order to keep pace with these advanced cybercriminals.
About the Author
Shankar Karthikason is Averis Group Head of Cyber Security Strategy, Operation & Advisory. He brings together over 12 years of experience in conceiving and implementing key business strategies towards enhancing the trajectory of the overall operations as well as business growth.
Views expressed in this article are personal. The facts, opinions, and language in the article do not reflect the views of CISO MAG and CISO MAG does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.