Cybersecurity researchers have done a lot of exploration into artificial intelligence. Because the talent gap in the security industry is widening, many experts see these kinds of technologies as holding a critical ingredient for the future of the practice.
AI, which complements the human effort that always will be required for these initiatives, can help spot threats that may otherwise go undetected. And it can support a sort of cyber-immue response system that auto-targets and reacts to threats, becoming more effective over time through machine learning routines.
But on the flip side, artificial intelligence also is showing potential as a cyber-crime weapon. In August, researchers were able to create a program that modifies malware code, making it capable of maneuvering past anti-malware AI programs undetected. This is a startling discovery in AI research, and suggests the potential for a sort of artificial-intelligence war between cyber criminals and security experts, holding the possibility of continued escalation.
Some researchers believe hackers already are using AI for their attack efforts. In 2016, two data scientists performed an artificial-intelligence experiment in the realm of phishing attacks. These researchers taught an AI system to study user behavior online and develop phishing bait accordingly, and were able to pump out targeted spear phishing tweets at a rate of 6.75 per minute, luring in 275 users. This experiment far exceeded the results of human effort over the same time span, and demonstrated that AI-based hacking already is within the realm of possibility for savvy hackers.
In a recent report on attitudes toward AI in cybersecurity, Webroot claimed that 91 percent of cybersecurity pros surveyed fear AI-based cyber threats. A majority (87 percent) are using AI as part of their cybersecurity strategy as well.
As such, the report’s authors offered four tips for incorporating AI into security efforts:
- Hire machine learning experts.
- Think creatively to stay ahead of hackers’ AI plans.
- Learn from your mistakes.
- Automate where you can.
Lunarline offers options for organizations to easily implement recommendations like these through our managed security services and our innovative security automation solutions. For more information, contact us today!