AI is now the main driver of emerging enterprise technologies such as IoT, big data analytics, and robotics. And yet this is only the beginning of what AI may eventually achieve. The technology stands to revolutionize every industry and human endeavor, simulating humanlike capabilities (or even human-superior capabilities) via thinking and learning technologies.
As high-tech networks and devices become more and more enmeshed in our daily lives, attempts by malicious actors to illegally enter those vital systems and efforts to prevent those attacks have become of paramount concern for companies, customers, governments, and militaries.
Although cybersecurity concerns are as old as the Information Age itself, they have grown more urgent and global in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic made it necessary for large numbers of people to work remotely, forcing even the most tech-resistant companies to invest in digital transformation. There is every reason to expect these trends to continue and even accelerate in the future.
Today’s enterprises face a cyber-risk landscape unlike anything they’ve seen before. As such, cybersecurity can no longer be classified as a purely IT concern. It has become a strategic imperative that affects teams and individuals in every industry, everywhere.
The digitization and blending of business and customer worlds are resulting in more virtual attack surfaces in need of constant defense. Hackers, scammers, blackmail artists, and threat actors of all kinds are finding new opportunities to access, alter, and appropriate sensitive data. And the avenues of attack are expanding all the time.
To protect their assets and their customers, organizations must continue to guard against traditional threats and must realign their cybersecurity strategies to account for these new and growing challenges.
In the past, the bad actors behind ransomware, phishing attacks, and other forms of malware tended to cast a wide net with the hope of snaring a few possible targets from among many thousands. But as cyberattacks evolve, they are becoming much more personalized to individuals.
The weaponization of extracted data and social-media information will give attackers the ability to apply mounting pressure on victims. Ransomware attacks on critical infrastructure will likewise increase. Organizations that fall prey to data theft may find themselves facing extortion over threats to leak sensitive data, publicize breaches, attack vendors and supply chains, and target vulnerable customers.
Remote work has also blurred the line between home and office, creating many more potentially unprotected access points to company networks. Advances in IoT and 5G technologies offer new avenues of attack. And vital data contained in vulnerable cloud systems create additional opportunities for cybercriminals.
Furthermore, it is increasingly difficult to find and hire cybersecurity talent, a problem that besets IT leaders around the world. Cybersecurity hires take time to train and must become intimately familiar with not only their own organization and its vulnerabilities, but also with the evolving threat landscape. Understaffed teams often struggle to address the multitude of attacks and threats leading to direct and measurable damage. If these talent shortages aren’t addressed, it will open companies up to expanded and more numerous cyberattacks and data breaches in the future.
Automating cybersecurity with AI capabilities offers a potential solution to these growing problems. Specific capabilities of AI make it especially relevant to present and future cybersecurity threats:
AI stands to transform every business function, including cybersecurity. Yet it also creates significant challenges for organizations. Among them:
We live in a time defined by the rich potential of technologies such as artificial intelligence. And just as AI has grown and developed from academic concept to concrete reality, so too has our need to protect ourselves and our data from evolving dangers. AI-enabled systems will reduce reliance on human operators, who are in short supply, and will provide a level of speed and skills that humans cannot begin to compete with, making it a perfect tool to help companies deflect and prevent future threats.