13 September 2023

Technological changes have made their way into every sphere of the hemisphere. They have become an important part of the 21st century human life. This growing need gave rise to cyber criminals and thereby cyber crime; thus making the future of cybersecurity dependent on the number of internet users and the amount of data shared by these users over the internet.

Keeping in touch with the trend of revolutionizing the functionalities of the world, cybersecurity has also introduced AI functionalities, which can dig into data and calculate potential threat areas in a jiffy. However, the question still lies, is AI the ultimate solution to cybersecurity issues. So let's dig a little deeper and find out will ai replace cybersecurity?

Will AI replace cybersecurity?

According to a Deloitte Center for Controllership poll. “During the past 12 months, 34.5% of polled executives report that their organizations' accounting and financial data were targeted by cyber adversaries. Within that group, 22% experienced at least one such cyber event and 12.5% experienced more than one.” And “nearly half (48.8%) of C-suite and other executives expect the number and size of cyber events targeting their organizations' accounting and financial data to increase in the year ahead. And yet just 20.3% of those polled say their organizations' accounting and finance teams work closely and consistently with their peers in cybersecurity.”

Between the years of 2013 and through to 2021 the cyber security world saw a drastic increase of 350 percent with almost 3.5 million job openings in the sector. However, with not enough personnel to fill in the task largely fell into the scope of AI.

How can Artificial Intelligence replace Cyber Security

While there is a raging debate on how AI is increasingly taking over systems all over the world, Cyber Security is also not far behind. AI will collect the data from firms, thereby detecting anomalies and further processing it for improving the accuracy and speed of system monitoring, incident responses and threat detection.

Now how does AI do all of these things:-

1. Discovery and Detection of Cyber Attacks

Any cyber security attack is bound to trigger network event tracking. With proper understanding of the basics of artificial intelligence, the threats can be easily determined. Once threats are determined it is easy to have these actions put in place for an enhanced and stronger Cyber Security Network. Furthermore AI can also depict the future course of action of an attacker based on his previous records thereby garnering more clues and notes for firms to strengthen their systems. So when it comes to the question of will AI replace cybersecurity it looks like cybersecurity wins.

2. Analytical Power

Cyber attackers do not just point to one specific zone for their attack. They detect and target a number of abnormalities to specify the vulnerability point and thus destroy the target. To pass through the perimeter, they need to bypass multiple networks, protocols, files and systems. In short, if every aspect of the data is inspected everyday, there can be a possibility of analyzing every threat that can be raging towards your company. Also by proper investigation of network traffic and the logs maintained through scrutiny every threat can be detected. Analyzing data can be made way easier through the deployment of an AI tool and by analyzing, finding and sending a danger signal.

3. Detection of Threat

AI takes seconds to navigate through scores of data and find out potential causes of threat and that too in real-time. Adapting to new patterns is pretty easy for them thus making decision capabilities more robust.

4. Response time

With AI organizations can mitigate risks way faster than any normal human, thus making response time shorter. Once response time is shortened, it is just a matter of moments to find the leak and build the backup. This helps prevent losses by billions and data breach can be contained in just a matter of moments.

5. Vulnerability Management

AI helps us scan for vulnerabilities within our network and software systems. This allows for teams to remediate and action on items before they can be exploited by hackers. The reaction here is proactive rather than reactive.

But the question remains in the battle of will ai replace cybersecurity who is the ultimate winner.

How AI is limited when we talk Cybersecurity

While many would agree that AI has completely changed the face of cyber security, many are also of the belief that the very face of cyber security is incomplete without human intelligence. They tend to argue that there is only so much a computer can do that a human mind cannot.

A. Interpretation Inability – To start with there lies the lack of intuition and human judgment. While AI models process data fast, they are not intuitive and even sometimes they fail to explain the reasons for their predictions and decisions. This leads to a gap or oversight in security which can then be easily breached. There can also be a concern of false alarms as the context of the data may not be completely interpreted by the tool.

B. Data – Data – AI tools are completely dependent on data and if there is any lack or delay of feeding data, the tool fails to make assumptions and thereby negatively affects its usefulness in Cybersecurity.

C. Human Supervision – While the AI may be independent, it is limited to its code. Humans have to update the code from time to time to cope with changing scenarios. So if you still ask will AI replace cybersecurity, now is the time to disagree.

D. Security – The AI which is securing our data can also be prone to cyberattacks. While it may bring out the potential harm and concern for our data on time, it may fail to detect any attempt towards its own integrity. This would then lead to a compromise in the data structure of the firm it is protecting too.

E. Privacy – While AI may be considered as a replication for cyber security professionals, it is also another 3rs party that gets access to our data. So the matter of data leakage and hamper tends to stay when a firm opts for an AI based cyber security.

It seems in the battle of will ai replace cybersecurity, it is the humans who won.

Examples of damages to companies affected by Cyber Attacks

1. When Equifax was under a cybersecurity threat, the approx. number of users affected were huge. They went up to 145.5 million US Consumers, 44 million British residents and 19000 Canadian residents. Numerous lawsuits were filed against Equifax not to mention their shares dropped by 13% during early trading the next day. Equifax eventually settled with a compensation of $300 million for victims, $175 million for the territories and states along with $100 million in fines.

2. The August 2012 breach of Yahoo was the largest hack of this kind in history. They had initially reported a breach to almost 1 billion accounts but by October 2017 this estimate was changed to a whopping 3 billion accounts. However the data theft was only of passwords and security questions. No payment card data or bank information was compromised.

Although AI has made significant progress in numerous domains, the same level of advancement hasn't been achieved in the field of cybersecurity. While AI can efficiently automate tasks, depending solely on AI is not a pragmatic approach. AI often lacks the contextual awareness necessary to avoid generating numerous false positives. Consequently, an exclusively AI-driven cybersecurity system is susceptible to increased risks and challenges. A more effective approach involves harnessing the complementary strengths of human expertise and AI capabilities. This synergistic combination not only reduces the likelihood of failures but also enables ethical decision-making and safeguards against AI misuse or manipulation, responsibilities that are best entrusted to humans. Safeaeon, as an MSSP, leverages AI to enhance its cybersecurity efforts.

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