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Can AI Protect Against Cyber Threats?

Last Updated on December 29, 2023 by SPN Editor

A recent study highlights that while artificial intelligence (AI) is powerful, it’s not a standalone solution for safeguarding businesses from modern cyber threats. Human involvement remains crucial for effectively utilizing AI’s capabilities.

The research, based on input from around 800 senior IT and cybersecurity decision-makers in U.S. and U.K. enterprises, focuses on their perspectives regarding AI’s current and future roles in cybersecurity. The survey was conducted by CyberRisk Alliance, commissioned by Arctic Wolf.

Investment in AI to protect against cyber threats

Only 22% of organizations allocate the majority of their cybersecurity budget to AI-powered solutions. However, 64% plan to introduce AI-focused technology within the coming year to bolster cybersecurity readiness.

AI use cases of cyber threats

Threat detection and automation stand out as the primary use cases for AI. Around 61% believe AI will surpass humans in identifying cyber threats, and 46% see its value in automating responses or repetitive tasks like alert management.

Human role in defending against cyber threats

Human involvement is deemed essential in maximizing the potential efficiency gains from AI. Almost 40% feel their teams lack the technical expertise to manage AI solutions effectively. Over half (52%) anticipate that AI-driven cybersecurity outcomes will be more cost-efficient than those achieved solely by humans.

Large Language Models (LLMs)

Around 13% consider leveraging large language models as a primary AI benefit in enhancing contextual understanding of existing data. However, most executives still believe human analysts outperform LLMs and other AI technologies in explaining threat context.

The study underscores the indispensable role AI will play in improving modern cyber threat detection and response. However, it emphasizes that technology alone cannot ensure complete protection against evolving threats.

On the other hand, AI is becoming a double-edged sword in the realm of cybersecurity. As the digital world continues to evolve, so too does the landscape of cybersecurity. One of the most significant developments in recent years is the increasing role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in both cyber threats and defenses.

AI has proven to be a game-changer in cybersecurity, with its ability to analyze vast amounts of data for threat detection and response. Machine learning algorithms can identify patterns and anomalies in network traffic, flagging potential threats that would be impossible for humans to spot.

However, the same technology that fortifies our defenses can also be weaponized. Cybercriminals are now leveraging AI to launch sophisticated attacks. AI-powered malware can adapt and learn from the security measures it encounters, making it increasingly difficult to defend against.

Moreover, AI can automate the process of discovering and exploiting vulnerabilities, enabling cybercriminals to launch attacks at an unprecedented scale and speed. This has led to a rise in AI-driven cyber threats, from advanced persistent threats (APTs) to automated phishing attacks.

Despite these challenges, the potential of AI in cybersecurity is undeniable. As we continue to grapple with the double-edged sword that is AI, one thing is clear: the future of cybersecurity lies in the balance between human expertise and AI innovation.

How can we defend against AI-driven cyber threats?

To safeguard against AI-driven cyber threats, a comprehensive approach is necessary:

AI-Enhanced Cybersecurity Measures: AI can bolster cybersecurity defenses. Solutions powered by AI concentrate on behavioral analytics and heuristic patterns, capable of detecting unusual patterns that signal malicious activities. These advanced security tools are not solely reliant on known signatures.

Flexible and Progressive Tactics: The fluid nature of AI-driven attacks often makes static defense mechanisms inadequate. Hence, there is a need for more flexible and progressive cybersecurity tactics.

Layered, AI-Driven Solution: Organizations require a layered, AI-driven solution that amalgamates security and recovery across cloud, on-premises, and SaaS workloads. Instead of cobbling together multiple solutions, security leaders need software that offers a comprehensive view across all production and backup environments.

Proficient Cybersecurity Experts: The need for proficient cybersecurity professionals is projected to increase by 33% by 2030. These experts are crucial in strengthening our digital future.

While AI can introduce new threats in the field of cybersecurity, it can also be a formidable tool in defending against those cyber threats.

Dan Schiappa, Arctic Wolf‘s chief product officer, emphasizes the need for human intervention in investigating sophisticated cyber attacks, providing contextual understanding, and crucially, in training the AI and machine learning models that will form the core of future cybersecurity solutions.

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