As the number of cybersecurity threats continues to grow day after day, the need for top-notch cybersecurity solutions is becoming essential.
The Importance of Cybersecurity for Individuals and Businesses Alike
Cybersecurity, like clean drinking water, is one of the things many people in wealthy nations tend to just take for granted.
How much of what we send casually online or via smartphone could be considered “sensitive information”?
Social security numbers sent in texts. Photographs of a home uploaded to Facebook. Our digital footprints lead cybercriminals to the information that makes us most vulnerable to extortion, fraud, and the like.
It is the assumption of security in our communications, and mere storage of information on digital devices, that prompts our free and easy relationship to information sharing on personal and professional devices.
People with a sophisticated enough knowledge of computer science to be considered “hackers” can make short work out of assembling a laundry list of your name, address, phone number, credit card number, social security number, and other sensitive data.
Yes, dear reader, we hate to break the news to you, but there may very well be some cybercriminal in possession of a suite of your information known as “the fullz”, hawking those digital wares on the dark web this very minute.
Commercial Enterprises Are Also At Risk
Individuals do not solely possess access to this information. In truth, some of the biggest targets for cybercriminals are not individuals but organizations. Commercial enterprises are most certainly among the targets.
For many bad actors, getting ahold of a company’s data is like stealing a heap of gold from a vault. What bountiful riches are stored in even a modest mom-and-pop’s data repository, few can tell, but plenty of cybercriminals seek access to data from companies of all sizes.
Whether it is to get a mass of credit card numbers or trade secrets (international hacking efforts are often economically motivated) or just “fame” of the anonymous online variety, the motives for cybercrime are wide-ranging.
And, of course, much of this can ultimately have a negative impact on individuals who are not working at the company as well. Think of instances where cybercriminals hack into business’ networks to access customers’ sensitive information.
One such example of this is banking institutions and customers’ routing numbers, which round out an identity-theft package marketed and sold on the dark web pretty nicely, wouldn’t you agree?
Below, we first discuss how A.I. aids cybercriminals, and then we explore how A.I. boosts cybersecurity efforts.
A.I.’s (Mis)application in Cybercrime
Before we get into why cybersecurity firms and IT departments are going to be enlisting A.I. for cybersecurity help, it could do us well to understand why that will seem more necessary.
One big reason is that A.I. will be playing a role in the cybercrime side of things as well.
According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, a fit analogy for A.I.’s role in cybercrime is that it allows “Junior Varsity” criminals function like “Varsity” criminals, while Varsity criminals will be able to basically function like the keyboard-bandit version of roided-out athletes.
Another method for bad actors involves “reverse engineering” A.I. to reveal the data used in its training. Businesses using A.I. and providing company data may expose their training data to potential access by cybercriminals.
IT Gets Help from A.I.
A.I. has many uses in cybercrime, from anomaly detection to automating patches. We will go into one example of automating cybersecurity tasks below.
Log analysis is one area that A.I. can play a role in automating. Log analysis is the process of organizing the generated records of a computing system so as to make sense out of the records.
In a network security context, this involves looking for instances of security breaches and other threats. One of the overriding goals that A.I. may have in conducting a log analysis is to find out at what times, circumstances, and other who-what-when-where-why-how factors have an impact on network vulnerability.
A.I. on the logs may detect attempted, perhaps even successful, sign-ins from random places around the world for accounts. If all of your workers exclusively live and work and vacation in East Troy, Michigan, then these instances in the logs will certainly be of interest.
Overall, perceive A.I. as a neutral element in the cybersecurity field, as individuals can utilize it for both malicious and beneficial purposes. It all depends on whose hands the A.I. is in.