Hackers are Using AI — Fight Back With an AI-Powered Cyber Strategy

In June 2016, San Francisco-based freelance labour platform TaskRabbit, owned by furniture giant Ikea, reported a “cyber incident.” The attack compromised 3.75 million users. After months-long investigations, experts could not track the attack. The reason for that is AI.

Cyber criminals have weaponised AI for stealth attacks, whereby the malicious actors can get access to a vulnerable system and leave it at will — without any trace. AI will facilitate more intelligent attacks in the future.

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Cyber criminals use AI to conceal malicious codes in benign applications, which they code to execute at a specific time (like five months after installation) or when triggered by certain numbers (like the number of subscribers or downloads) — to maximise the impact of the attack.

Concealing the code within an application for stealth attacks requires AI models to derive private keys to control the place and time the malware will execute. The malicious AI model can reside in a system for years without detection, as hackers wait to strike at opportune moments.

Bolstering Enterprise Cyber Security With AI

In a survey conducted by Capgemini, nearly two-thirds of business leaders think that AI will help identify critical threats, and 69% believe AI will be necessary to respond to cyber attacks.

The pace of adoption of AI in cyber security is also on an upward curve, with the market projected to grow to $46.3 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 23.6%.

Of the executives using AI in cyber as their defence strategy, 75% say that AI allows their organisation to respond faster to breaches, and 60% that AI improves the accuracy and efficiency of cyber analysts.

On average, AI also lowers the cost of detecting and responding to breaches by 12%.

How can AI benefit your enterprise cyber security plan?

AI is the most powerful way to fight back against cyber criminals who have weaponised the technology and a safe way to thrive online. Some of the benefits of using AI in cyber security include:

AI Keeps Learning Over Time

Machine learning and deep learning can learn a business network’s behaviour over time, recognise patterns on the network and cluster them. Therefore, it can detect any deviations or security incidents from the norm and is prepared to respond to them.

Neural networks learn patterns over time to improve security, and potential threats with similar traits will get blocked early.

AI Can Identify Unknown Threats

Every year hackers create new modes of attacks, new viruses and change the motives behind the attacks — it’s impossible for humans to keep track of the new threats. Unknown threats can cause massive damage to a network even before they can be detected, identified or prevented.

AI has proven to be one of the most effective technologies at detecting, mapping and stopping unknown threats.

AI Can Process Large Volumes of Data Fast

Even for a small-sized company, the amount of data transferred daily across its networks is huge. Data shared between the company and its customers or vendors needs to be checked and protected — given the volume, it's impossible for humans to check all the traffic for possible threats.

AI can easily analyse massive chunks of data and traffic, and AI-based solutions like residential proxy can help transfer data safely. AI can also detect threats hidden in the chaos of busy network traffic.

Improved Vulnerability Management

A company’s best cyber defence is vulnerability management. It needs to detect, identify and prevent threats and seal its endpoints to keep its network secure.

AI can greatly prop up vulnerability management by analysing and assessing current controls and measures, identifying the weak points and helping humans focus on important security tasks.

Better Security Authentication

Now, cyber criminals are using credential stuffing and brute force attacks to access company networks. Once they have access, the entire business network could be at risk.

For businesses that collect personal information, adding an extra security layer is critical as it involves personal data and sensitive information.

AI can help tighten authentication any time someone logs into the system by using tools like facial recognition and fingerprint scanners to ensure the log-in attempt is genuine.

Business leaders can no longer rely on scaling their cyber security measures to counter the threat their organisations face. They need the power of AI to discover and prioritise risks, respond quickly and identify malware even before they pose a threat.

Sign up for the Oxford Cyber Security for Business Leaders Programme to learn how you can leverage AI to build a cyber security plan that will keep your business safe online.

Oxford Cyber Security for Business Leaders Programme is delivered as part of a collaboration with Saïd Business School, University of Oxford and Esme Learning. All personal data collected on this page is primarily subject to the Esme Learning Privacy Policy.


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