How AI Is Disrupting The Cybersecurity Landscape
Cybersecurity threats have become more sophisticated in recent years, especially with the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Criminals are using AI tools to create and write sophisticated software codes, phishing emails, and other harmful requests that can give them an advantage.
On the other hand, organisations use AI to catch up with advanced attack methods. In 2021, 76 % of organisations have prioritised AI in their IT budget, and 25% say it should be their top priority. This outlines how AI is disrupting the cybersecurity space by aiding attackers and helping enterprises combat cybercrime. Read more on this topic below.
How attackers use AI
As stated, AI can help attackers breach security barriers with ease by automating and optimising various malicious activities, all while evading detection. Here are some of the specific ways cybercriminals use AI:
1. Mimic a person’s voice
AI can mimic a person’s voice, pitch, tone, and accent. This method has been used in customer service or film, and cybercriminals may use the same method to impersonate a certain individual and send vishing attacks. With AI voice cloning, victims can be tricked into sharing personal information, such as passwords and financial information.
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2. Crack passwords
AI tools such as PassGAN use generative adversarial networks (GANs) to learn how passwords are created in seconds without human intervention. This powerful tool can crack passwords in seconds to access your digital information.
3. Generate personalised phishing emails
Generative AI and advanced language models such as ChatGPT can create human-like texts in a conversational tone. These models have made content creation and email marketing, among other things, easier. However, this also means that hackers can use these tools to send phishing emails to unsuspecting contacts.
A phishing email is often riddled with grammatical errors. However, with AI, scammers can create convincing messages in any language. These emails or content are typically grammatically correct and with the right tone, making them easily believable.
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How AI is shaping cybersecurity
Just like hackers are using AI to make more sophisticated attackers, enterprises are also using it to combat any security threats in the following ways:
1. Monitor continuously
Real-time threat detection and monitoring is an essential part of cybersecurity. AI tools can help automate the incident response process and ensure that any threat is identified and mitigated as it happens.
For example, during penetration testing, Burpgpt is used to identify vulnerabilities that may go unnoticed by other scanners. This ensures more efficiency and more vulnerabilities covered in a short time.
2. Identify false positives and negatives
Cybersecurity measures may generate false positive reports, signalling that a system vulnerability is present when it is not. A false negative can likewise occur, indicating an absence of a vulnerability when it’s present. A high incidence of erroneous and inaccurate reports can lead to a premature rollout of a system with insufficient security measures.
Conversely, AI can help review software codes and analyse systems to identify errors that human analysts may have missed. Therefore, AI doesn’t suffer fatigue and isn’t susceptible to many errors and biases.
3. Mitigate insider risks
Insider risks are a major concern, with over 34% of organisations affected annually. AI can analyse user behaviour and identify an employee engaging in malicious activities. For example, if there are several failed login attempts, AI can trigger the system to lock and prevent any login for some time.
AI can also study detailed patterns—such as keystrokes per minute and cursor movements—to know who accessed a particular site or system. These can help prevent data breaches and protect employees from phishing attacks.
4. Perform a proactive approach
AI tools can perform proactive cybersecurity measures on behalf of users. They can recognise and analyse patterns, make inferences, and automate incident response, making it easy to combat online threats.
Additionally, AI can quickly and effectively analyse large amounts of data using its computational power to identify, prioritise, and correct any vulnerability. By streamlining the process, it helps ensure the organisation is better placed to deal with any threat.
A word from the Technical Director at KMT
“As the Technical Director of KMT, I recognise AI’s profound impact on cybersecurity. It’s a game-changer for businesses, fortifying against risks and vulnerabilities. Yet, we face the flip side – cybercriminals leveraging AI for sophisticated breaches. This ongoing tech battle cements AI’s pivotal role in shaping cybersecurity’s future. Armed with a keen understanding of AI’s potential, we tirelessly craft and deploy solutions that harness its power to safeguard our clients’ digital domains. As we navigate this evolving landscape, one thing is abundantly clear: AI’s role in the future of cybersecurity is seismic, and its implications resound far and wide.”
Scott Mathrick, Technical Director & Co-founder at KMT
AI is increasingly becoming one of the most disruptive technologies in cybersecurity, both for businesses and threat actors. Enterprises use it to mitigate insider risks, identify and patch vulnerabilities, and set proactive measures. On the other hand, cybercriminals are exploiting AI to develop sophisticated and advanced ways to breach security systems. As this technological arms race continues, the role of AI in shaping the future of cybersecurity cannot be underestimated.