Could AI, or artificial intelligence, be a double-edged sword in regard to cyber security? Also called “machine learning,” AI can be used to learn, hack, and adapt better and faster than any other tools that are currently available to hackers. On the flip side, the good guys can also use AI to predict threats, analyze, and even detect anomalies. At some point, we will likely find ourselves in a battle match of machines hacking each other while humans will hardly matter.

The good thing here is that AI can really save security professionals a lot of time, especially when it comes to looking into vulnerabilities, eliminating false positives, and patching networks. It can also be used to automate certain tasks and help security teams to make better predictions.

Though it is true that the tried and true techniques, like vulnerability scanning, are effective when it comes to recognizing risks, some companies are now using AI to take this one step further.

Let’s look at it like this, it can easily take more than a month for an average company to fix a vulnerability. So, we need tools that can help us do this quicker and more effectively.

Instead of waiting for a hacker to take advantage of these vulnerabilities, of course, it’s best to be proactive…and AI can do this.

But Wait…AI Isn’t All Good…

 Just as the good guys are using AI, cybercriminals are too. They are creating different techniques that will give them the edge over cybersecurity professionals. When we look at the latest research, we can see that there is some good things happening in the security industry with AI, but that criminals are coming in strong with AI methods of their own. With so many different and possible uses, AI could cause a ton of changes in the cybersecurity industry, but there are also going to be a lot of challenges and the criminals are doing the same.

Cybercriminals are Getting More Sophisticated

 Another thing to mention is that attackers are getting more sophisticated, and they are investing a lot of time and energy into any opportunity that will give them the biggest return for their investment. Organizations, meanwhile, can do similar things, in order to make themselves look less appealing to attackers.

AI could, however, increase the volume of attacks as tasks become automated and enhanced, which is actually making it even easier for cybercriminals to plan attacks. This technology can also make it easier for people to remain anonymous and keep a distance from their victims. This, of course, makes it very difficult for authorities to find them.

The odds are also against the good guys here, as they have to stop 100% of attacks to be successful where cybercriminals only have to have one good attack to be successful.

AI and automation are certainly reducing costs and limiting errors, and AI can be used by cybercriminals to tip the scales. Criminals can also use AI to automate their attacks and even by-pass the controls that are meant to keep them out.

Digitizing Operations and Increasing Attacks

As companies continue to grow, so does the complexity and size of data and technology that is used. Attackers know this, and it just gives them even more information to explore and exploit. In order for legitimate companies to stay a step ahead, they must use things like automation and AI, as that’s what the cybercriminals are using, too.

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ROBERT SICILIANO CSP, is a #1 Best Selling author, CEO of Safr.Me, and the architect of the CSI Protection certification; a Cyber Social and Identity Protection security awareness training program.