With breach attempts and cyberattacks increasing, many companies say artificial intelligence (AI) is a necessity in identifying and thwarting threats, and they are devoting bigger pieces of the budget for AI’s role in cybersecurity.
“It’s a fundamental tool going forward due to the approaching reality of the 5G-enabled world, where massive amounts of data will need to be analyzed in real time,” says J. Eduardo Campos, co-founder with his wife, Erica, of Embedded-Knowledge Inc. (www.embedded-knowledge.com) and co-author with her of From Problem Solving to Solution Design: Turning Ideas into Actions. “5G will empower machine-to-machine communications, and the new wireless technology will be faster, carry more information per second, and interconnect sensors, devices, and computers at large scale. “With more data flowing at higher speeds, only AI solutions will be able to handle such high volume of transactions while monitoring applications and sensors at the edge of companies’ networks.” Campos offers some reasons AI is an effective cybersecurity tool for businesses:
- System-entry protection. AI systems can scan the retina and fingerprints for biometric logins, identifying small changes in patterns — a more secure point of entry than traditional passwords provide. “Hackers cracking passwords open Pandora’s Box,” Campos says. “Passwords are vulnerable to cyberattacks, and personal information such as credit cards are easily compromised. Changing passwords alone isn’t a solution. Biometric systems lower your risk of breaches because biological characteristics are hard to duplicate.”
- Enhanced threat detection and attack prevention. Cybersecurity firms are training AI systems to detect malware and viruses by using special algorithms. “This enables AI to use pattern recognition, which helps identify malicious software and isolate them,” Campos says. “AI systems are being trained to recognize ransomware before it encrypts. The predictive analytics AI uses are much faster than a manual approach.”
- Time and cost saving. The average overall time to detect threats and respond to breaches is reduced by up to 12%. “This time reduction occurs by repeatedly scanning for anomalies that show threat patterns,” Campos says. “AI used in fraud detection has saved some companies millions.”
- Natural language processing. This is a subfield of computer science, information engineering and AI related to programming computers to process natural language data and narrow down the most pertinent information. “AI-powered systems can collect data for reference by scanning articles and studies on cyber threats, helping organizations prepare effective strategies,” Campos says.
“There is still no guarantee against a cyberattack,” Campos says. “But AI certainly takes cybersecurity a step further, and businesses of all sizes are taking notice at a time when threats are always knocking at the door.”
About J. Eduardo CamposJ. Eduardo Campos is co-author with his wife, Erica, of From Problem Solving to Solution Design: Turning Ideas into Actions. Campos spent 13 years at Microsoft, first as a cybersecurity advisor, then leading innovative projects at the highest levels of government in the U.S. and abroad. His consulting firm, Embedded Knowledge Inc. (www.embedded-knowledge.com), works with organizations and entrepreneurs developing customized business strategies and forming partnerships focused on designing creative solutions to complex problems.