Artificial intelligence (AI) has infiltrated its way into nearly every industry, including cybersecurity. The same technology that criminals are using to hack and harness information can be used to protect yourself and your business.
While using AI to bolster your company’s security can be beneficial, there are also some drawbacks to consider. It can both help and hurt when it comes to privacy and data protection, and it’s essential that you’re using the right programs correctly. You can be sure the criminals who want to steal your information know exactly what they’re doing, and you can’t let them get ahead.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits that AI tech can offer your company in terms of security, as well as some difficulties it might introduce. The more you understand the ins and outs of AI technology, the easier it will be to implement it in the most effective and efficient ways.
How AI Is Impacting Cybersecurity
AI is everywhere you go. From the healthcare industry to manufacturing, it’s being used to make life easier and more efficient. There’s no denying artificial intelligence is changing the world through things like signal processing speed and pattern identification. It eliminates the risk of human error in areas like robotics used for surgical purposes and product assembly lines. In terms of cybersecurity, AI has become a powerful resource for:
- Identifying threats and vulnerabilities
- Recognizing attacks
- Seeking malicious activities
- Providing security recommendations
Technology is changing and advancing all the time. Those changes force cybercriminals to essentially boost their game and stay up-to-date with AI and machine learning trends. So, while we can’t deny the impact of AI in the cybersecurity sector, it’s important to look at some of the pros and cons.
What Are the Benefits?
The biggest benefit of AI on company cybersecurity is the reduced risk of human error. Unless you have an in-house tech team constantly monitoring your data and network, your systems are going to be vulnerable to attacks. AI helps to mitigate those attacks by identifying threats before they become problems and providing suggestions on how you can protect your data more effectively. Some of the biggest positive impacts of AI in cybersecurity include:
- Fraud detection
- Email SPAM filters
- Botnet detection
- Data leak prevention
Perhaps the biggest benefit is AI’s ability to detect and potentially block security threats that would otherwise go unnoticed. It does this by learning from patterns on the network and taking note when something deviates from those patterns. Not only can it alert you of a threat, but it can also take care of it on its own, depending on the type of scam or virus.
Cybersecurity protection often includes things that the average person might not be able to monitor or control on their own. If you have a small business, you might not have the manpower or budget to have a dedicated team protecting your data and network. Even if you do, chances are most people on your team aren’t IT professionals. You would either have to hire a few in-house experts or work with a contracted tech team for constant support and surveillance.
For businesses on a budget or startups just getting off the ground, AI is an affordable and effective option that can combat cyber crimes without breaking the bank. Many small businesses are seeing the benefits of AI when it comes to automated customer communications, competitor analysis, and virtual human resources management. It’s being used in everything from onboarding to superior customer service on social media and websites. Using AI tools to protect your business from hacking is the next step up from installing effective anti-virus software.
Can AI Harm Your Business Privacy?
Unfortunately, AI isn’t perfect. While it’s easy to see how it’s helping businesses — especially those without dedicated IT professionals at the helm — it can also end up causing harm.
First, cybercriminals are well aware of the rise in the popularity of AI. They’re counting on it. When you don’t have humans at the helm to keep track of how your AI protection is being used, it’s easy for hackers to take advantage of that and sneak into your system without being caught.
Furthermore, hackers can use AI. They test their malware programs against today’s AI-based security tools to determine how they can create more advanced attacks that artificial intelligence can’t detect.
There are also limitations to AI based on the amount of data you’re able to provide. AI models learn from data sets. If your team can’t provide every malicious code, malware program, and virus set, hackers can slip through the cracks. AI will continue to learn and grow based on the information you give it. Some even argue that AI can’t be fully controlled. However, for now, it’s also only as helpful as the information you give it. It can’t learn something new without having a starting point.
Because hackers are becoming more familiar with AI and MI, there has also been a rise in “deepfakes”. Scammers use automatically-generated audio technology to make themselves seem more legitimate when they’re talking on the phone or leaving a message. They only need a few seconds of someone else’s voice to use AI that can replicate specific accents, tones, and volumes.
Should AI Be a Part of Your Business?
So, should you invest your time and resources into AI for your company or not? In short, yes. Even if you decide against using it for cybersecurity purposes, it’s clear that it can streamline your business in a variety of other ways.
Additionally, don’t let some of the risks or potential drawbacks keep you from using AI for company cybersecurity, either. AI is gaining attention for a reason. If you’re not actively using it to protect your business, that doesn’t mean scammers and hackers won’t use it to steal sensitive information. Make sure to educate yourself on the processes you choose, work with a qualified IT team, and stay up-to-date with changes in artificial technology so you’ll remain one step ahead of cybercriminals as often as possible.