AI – Weapon of Attack or Security?

AI - Weapon of Attack or Security?

Artificial intelligence plays a massive role in protecting data networks, but it is also key in cybersecurity attacks. How do organisations stay secure amid AI uncertainty?

Every time there is a leap in human knowledge, this knowledge can be turned into a weapon. This is true in every domain, but especially cybersecurity. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the latest example of human ingenuity which is being used in both positive and negative ways.

AI in cybersecurity is increasingly critical to protecting systems. When used correctly, AI systems can be trained to enable automatic threat detection, generate alerts and even identify new stands of malware. All of this means businesses can better protect their sensitive data.

Despite this, AI is also being used by the bad guys. Not only are attackers leveraging AI to create convining phishing and vishing scams, but they are also being used to spread misinformation. These uses of AI are putting businesses at risk, with businesses having already fallen victim to deepfake scams.

But, there are ways in which we can counter the cybersecurity AI threat. These include:

AI investment

Firstly, at Fortinet we have seen the made huge investments in AI, specifically contextual Gen AI, to permanently improve our product. Our FortiAnalyzer enables you to make sense of logs and firewalls and it centralises these into one database of events.

There is also big data artificial intelligence, which allows us to process and analyse trillions of events using machine learning, and network operation artificial intelligence where you can correlate events happening at completely different levels and locations. With this information, you can heal your networks from end-to-end. Another domain is the network operation artificial intelligence. This allows AI to make sense of very large amounts of data so correlation can be found, helping to detect leakage of information.

So, multiple AI domains are involved simultaneously in a sophisticated cybersecurity architecture. That combination of AI tools enables a far better and holistic key world artificial intelligence network of cybersecurity.

However, if we take a step back, we know AI has brought with it a permanent race between the dark creativity of threat actors and the relentless innovations of companies. As ever, the moment we take a step ahead, so do the bad actors.

But what is the best approach to overcome the bottlenecks in security operations? Unfortunately, there is no universal remedy here. However, here are some best practices.

Listen to the podcast: Navigating the Cybersecurity Landscape: Insights and Strategies from Alain Sanchez, EMEA CISO at Fortinet

AI in cyber strategies

Businesses must make cybersecurity strategies which include a compulsory failsafe for new, innovative technologies. Also, they must ensure they have the staff to execute them – easier said than done given the skill shortage in the industry and that finding an expert in new technologies, such as AI, is always tricky given they are new disciplines.

As such, we must allow ourselves the proper level of investment in training. Doing so will plug the growing skills gap. Fortinet has done this with our Network Security Experts trainings, providing all the necessary knowledge for them in the recruitment, training, and operational processes. It is a process which has become a mindset.

The second thing is that the CISOs of tomorrow must be primarily fluent in the business before they become fluent in cybersecurity. This is because they need to speak to their c-suite and board about security transformation in the very words of the company itself. The necessary cybersecurity and platformisation transformation they will conduct will be spoken of in the company jargon, otherwise it will likely not be approved.

The necessary security tasks, training, best practices, and behaviour roles that must be adopted and adapted will be in the language of the industry, it’s the only way the CISO will be recognised as a peers at the board level.

Is AI cybersecurity safe

To ensure your cybersecurity systems are as secure as possible, human intervention is certainly required. However, humans shouldn’t be solely responsible for strengthened cyber security. Tasks, such as system monitoring, phishing and threat detection, and vulnerability management, should be automated and enabled with AI to ensure they are able to discover new threats which is especially vital as cyberattacks increase in sophistication and the threat landscape evolves at pace.

Despite these benefits, businesses often wonder if they should worry about trusting AI with their cybersecurity. In short, they shouldn’t. The process is safe because it is built on existing use cases in various business environments. Alongside this, given the skills shortages many security teams are challenged with, cybersecurity automation using AI is allowing organisations to enhance their security investments by improving operations which support existing personnel.

All in all, with the benefits of automating AI in cybersecurity vast and the process being safe, businesses should take heed. Not only can AI improve an organisation’s overall security and remove human error, but it can also inform better decision making. This, coupled with it’s ability to continuously learn and improve from new data means AI is making it more difficult for hackers to circumvent organisation’s defenses.

With cyber criminals continuing to stay one step ahead of organisations by adjusting their methods and creating more advanced attacks then, we’re at a point where modern day businesses can’t afford not to strengthen their cybersecurity solutions with AI. Artificial Intelligence, then, is a huge benefit to organisational cybersecurity teams and the future of better, stronger global cybersecurity.

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