The internet is increasingly becoming a part of our lives, growing every second. A new change takes place every day, rendering the prevailing system obsolete. Adjusting to this change is not always easy. The risks associated with the internet are many and affect the security of the users to a great extent. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, every process is being automated. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are making things convenient for internet users but also for hackers who use AI to orchestrate multiple cyber-attacks. 

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity refers to the protection of computers or other similar devices from the theft of information, damage of software or hardware and other intellectual properties. Cybersecurity is important and holds relevance as all the sections of the society such as Governments, Corporates, the military, various financial institutions, etc. are driven by data. They store huge amounts of data on computers and various other devices that use the internet to stay connected. Also, this data is pieced together from sensitive information that is not available for public viewing and usage. These data sources tend to exchange information over the network on a very frequent basis which exposes the data to several cyber risks. This data can be easily misused by any third party. Cybersecurity has become the topmost concern of every internet user as all of us keep feeding a certain amount of data to our smartphones and personal computers.

Cyber-attacks may lead to the following:

  1. Identity theft, extortion of information which might result in blackmailing 
  2. Malware induction into the systems, affecting multiple systems by injecting viruses
  3. Spoofing, Phishing, and Spamming
  4. Denial of various services which may further lead to multiple attacks
  5. Password theft
  6. Sabotaging vital information
  7. Vandalism through various websites
  8. The exploitation of privacy through web browsers
  9. Account hacks and money scams
  10. Ransomware
  11. Theft of Intellectual Property
  12. Unauthorised access to computer systems and laptops
artificial intelligence and cybersecurity

Cybersecurity aims at preventing theft of information, various data breaches and some malware and ransomware attacks. It acts as the only measure to prevent online frauds and helps in risk management. Cybersecurity could be managed by a company either on its own or with the help of a third party which specialises in the area. With proper measures to prevent cyber-attacks, cybersecurity protects various businesses against malware, phishing, ransomware, and social engineering. 

What is Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are data-driven approaches to make decisions with no explicit programming involved.  With the help of artificial intelligence, processes are automated, thus making the business activity free from any human intervention and bias. 

Artificial intelligence is shaping the way companies make decisions. This enables machines to do their work on their own which was earlier done by employing a workforce to operate various machines. With the application of AI, the data and the algorithm are given as the input which teaches the machine to perform a specific task with utmost precision. With the help of AI, processes are being optimised and the tasks are becoming speedy and error-free. Also, with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning, data is mined and various patterns based on past trends are drawn out. These trends help in making decisions concerning the present and the future.   

Effect of AI and ML on Cyber Security

With the advancement in the field of artificial intelligence and growth in the number of applications of machine learning, new methodologies are being developed to make the cybersecurity space more automated and risk-free. With the application of these elements, the cybersecurity personnel can easily organise and manage log data. Cybersecurity involves a lot of data points that can make use of artificial intelligence, as AI is all about data clustering, classification, processing, filtering, and management.

AI, though a very strong concept, cannot set-up and run on its own. It needs to have specific data chunks based on which the decisions must be made. Machine Learning analyses data from the past and then comes out with the optimum solutions for both the present and the future. Therefore, the past data will have to be made available to make the combination of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity work.

The Algorithms must be fed in so that the data from the past can be organised effectively. The system then has to provide instructions on various elements and patterns based on which it will scan threats and other malware. The algorithms have to be designed in such a way that the machine can easily differentiate between a normal situation and a situation where the security of the party involved is compromised. With the help of this pre-defined pattern, the machine learning system recognises the party trying to break into the system and disrupt the essence of it.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence should be quick to secure data as hackers can get into any system and hamper the intellectual property before the organisation realises a breach has happened. With the help of artificial intelligence, the attack can be recognised at a very early stage and then neutralised so that it doesn’t affect the system further. 

With multiple applications, machine learning and artificial intelligence are a great investment for a company whose focus is on strengthening cybersecurity and minimising the loss of sensitive information. With these tools, cybersecurity is becoming stronger with every passing day.

Artificial intelligence provides strong tools that increase the efficiency of cybersecurity algorithms. The software is highly effective when it comes to tracing negative elements. Data tracking mechanisms are becoming more powerful and effective, thus reducing the risks associated with it and improving its operational efficiencies. This will benefit the cybersecurity space in a multifold way.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence can help cybersecurity experts in analysing high volume data sources and streams in many ways.

Methods of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Analyse High Volume Data

  1. Correlating various data sets by organising them in a specific pattern, scanning various possible threats, making a predictive analysis and forecasting the next attack.
  2. Using data cleansing techniques, continuous auditing of data protection techniques can be done to safeguard the users and other relevant parties, checking if the restrictions placed are working effectively. 
  3. Developing mechanisms to secure data without being a burden on the resources. With the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence, cybersecurity professionals can optimise costs and avoid wasteful expenditures.
  4. With the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning, various malware and infections can be easily detected by setting up a security platform that has a built-in mechanism of scanning huge amounts of data, data networks and recognising any possible threats. 

The cloud computing element plays an active role in defining and deciding the online working patterns of any company. From various hosting servers and equipment, companies have now shifted to various cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure which protects data more effectively. This comes as both, a boon and a bane. On one hand, this is eliminating the usage of hardware reducing the complexity of various operations. On the flip side, a user’s complete trust is handed over to a third party where there is no first-hand information available about the companies operating the cloud, but all the sensitive information is now relayed to and fro. This makes the company vulnerable but due to lack of other options, cloud computing is the best option among its alternatives. With the help of artificial intelligence, software logarithms can be easily deployed across various cloud infrastructures. 

Ending Notes

Cybersecurity has been a primary concern for all kinds of internet users, be it individuals or giant corporations. Every day, every second, data is being transmitted with the help of various networks exposing it to several threats, risking information which cannot even be measured in monetary terms. With machine learning and artificial intelligence coming into the picture, cybersecurity is becoming more effective and powerful but there is another side of the coin too. With the implementation of machine learning and artificial intelligence, processes are becoming much easier, which exposes the systems to multiple risks. Breaking into computer systems has become a child’s play using AI and ML. Therefore, the scenario will not be favourable if machine learning and artificial intelligence are given all control. Manual intervention is important to keep things in check. With human intervention, these attacks could be prevented in a more structured way which strengthens the system.

If you wish to pursue a career in Cybersecurity, upskill with Great Learning’s Stanford Advanced Computer Security Program.

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