February 16, 2023

Why AI is important in improving the future of Cybersecurity in the age of Industry 4.0

by Jaafar Mohamed

In today’s digitalized world, there’s no denying that there is a growing demand for cybersecurity specialists by organizations. Cybersecurity experts are the first line of defense against malicious cyber-attackers. They often have the expertise and razor-sharp abilities to think a few steps ahead of hackers.

As technology is constantly evolving, processes to combat hackers and potential cyber-attackers are shifting as well. Artificial intelligence (AI) is now a key component in delivering cutting-edge Cybersecurity solutions. To better understand the role of AI in cybersecurity, let’s delve into the basics of AI and how it can help cybersecurity specialists perform their jobs to the best of their ability.

To put it simply, AI is defined as automated processes done by machines, which can emulate and complete processes normally requiring human input, especially on computer systems. In other words, AI can automate what humans do manually. You might wonder how AI is connected to cybersecurity. Well, for starters, AI helps to simplify labor and time spent managing cybersecurity measures. Let’s explore the role of AI in cybersecurity in further detail below.

 

The role of AI in advancing cybersecurity measures

 Cybersecurity experts are often perceived as heroes in an organization. After all, they are shouldering the responsibility of providing a safe and secure online environment to store, transfer, and manage important assets and data. As the saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility.”

Cybersecurity is a resource-intensive field, which means that countering threats from potential cyber-attacks can be a time-consuming and laborious process for cybersecurity experts. Among the processes that are manual and resource-intensive in cybersecurity measures are monitoring, threat hunting, and incident response (IR).

According to the Booz Allen Hamilton website, AI makes it easier to manage cybersecurity measures by automating labor-intensive core functions. This may include shifting cyber workflows to be streamlined, autonomous, continuous processes that speed remediation and maximise protection.

How is AI improving cybersecurity measures?

There are many ways in which AI can improve cybersecurity measures. They include:

I – It constantly adapts to changes.

AI is programmed in such a way that it constantly learns and absorbs knowledge like a sponge. Hence, based on previous incidents and reports, AI can recognize patterns on the network and cluster, accordingly, using machine learning and deep learning methods.

Any anomalies in network security are immediately reported, and protective measures are implemented before valuable company data and assets are lost or compromised.

Recognizing these patterns helps to improve the company’s network security in the future, which makes it easier for AI to detect incongruities and help eliminate them before they infiltrate the company’s digital assets.

AI’s continuous learning properties make it difficult for hackers to catch up or think beyond their intelligence.

II – It can detect inconsistencies in large amounts of data.

Every day, organizations collect and transfer a plethora of information from multiple sources, including customers, vendors, and business partners. The high volume of data being transferred means that its susceptibility to cyberattacks has significantly increased. The only way to counter this is to implement fast-acting AI in cybersecurity.

As AI constantly evolves and processes a much higher volume of data, it can create different algorithms to detect security threats, according to the Open-Sourced Workplace website.

It is difficult to gauge or intercept malicious activities disguised as routine activities, therefore, AI is your go-to choose when it comes to finding inconsistencies in network activity when navigating a plethora of data.

III: AI detects unprecedented threats before they cause damage.

As mentioned previously, AI has the most sophisticated technology for mapping and stopping unprecedented threats. The deep learning and machine learning features in AI can prevent your organization from being attacked before security notices something is wrong.

Cutting-edge and preventive abilities such as this are an even better reason why AI needs to be embedded in your organization’s cybersecurity measures. Its predictive learning capabilities mean that it can help predict previously unseen malware versions and determine if any new activity is a possible threat, based on previous activity patterns.

IV – It can help counter more complex hacking techniques.

Hackers are getting more ingenious and calculated with their hacking techniques. Hence, they have developed more advanced hacking techniques to infiltrate company data and assets. AI is sophisticated enough to minimize human error and protect against advanced hacking techniques.

Hence, they provide countermeasures against advanced hacking techniques like social honeypots.

A honeypot system functions in the sense that it disguises itself as a decoy user, which can help trap malicious hackers. Upon trapping the suspicious hacker, it can trace the origin and techniques used.

AI-based cybersecurity systems help you keep up with the latest trends and knowledge on global and industry-specific processes.

Hence, this can help you identify what could be a hacking tool and what is most likely to be used to attack your system.

Among the latest developments in AI in cybersecurity are AI-powered intrusion detection, which is helping many organizations around the world ramp up their cybersecurity efforts to fight against cyber attackers.

 

Is the future looking bright for cybersecurity experts in Malaysia?

According to a Micro Trend survey conducted in 2021, over two-fifths of survey respondents (IT leaders) claimed that AI will replace humans in cybersecurity efforts by 2030.

In contrast with the survey above, according to Up Guard, the functionality of AI in cybersecurity will not supersede the need to hire cybersecurity experts to guard company data and assets.

This is because combating malicious hackers and malware attacks requires more than automation; strong human intervention is required to counter cyber-attacks.

With that being said, the need for cybersecurity experts is rising in Malaysia. Hence, the need for professionals in this field is still high.

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