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How AI can Impact your cyber security posture

Currently Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been the focal point for topics regarding technology and information and is reshaping the cybersecurity landscape, offering innovative solutions. However, presenting new challenges. As these technologies advance and become integral to developing new and robust cybersecurity measures, they also raise concerns to all parties included about privacy, accountability, and intellectual property theft.

The Dual-Edged Sword of AI

As artificial intelligence continues to enhance cybersecurity protocols through automating and security tasks such as monitoring network traffic and detecting anomalies that could/potently indicate a security breach. This automation, driven by the three waves of AI development, enables the processing and analysis of large datasets at speeds far beyond human capability, leading to quicker and more accurate threat identification.

First Wave: Rule-Based Systems

Cybersecurity involves rule-based systems that operate on explicit, pre-defined rules. These systems are excellent for tasks with clear parameters and known variables, such as matching known malware signatures. Their deterministic nature ensures reliability within their scope, but they lack flexibility and cannot adapt to new, undefined threats.

Second Wave: Machine Learning

Machine learning (ML), allows AI models to learn from data, enabling them to identify patterns and make decisions with minimal human intervention. These models are particularly effective in detecting subtle anomalies in network traffic that may elude rule-based systems. However, they require access to vast amounts of data to function effectively, which introduces substantial privacy and security challenges. ML systems can inadvertently cause disruptions, such as mistakenly blocking legitimate services, due to their reliance on pattern recognition.

Third Wave: Cognitive/Autonomous AI

This wave aims to develop AI systems capable of cognitive reasoning, similar to human thought processes. These advanced systems are designed to understand context and make autonomous decisions in complex environments. The goal is to address the limitations of the second wave by enabling AI to adapt dynamically to new threats and scenarios without prior data training.

Integrating AI into cybersecurity systems, while beneficial, introduces a series of challenges and potential risks. AI systems heavily depend on the data they are trained on, which can result in biases or errors in threat identification if the data is incomplete or not representative. Furthermore, the autonomous nature of AI might inadvertently lead to actions like mistakenly blocking legitimate network activities, which disrupts operations.

Each wave of AI technology brings its own vulnerabilities that could compromise network security. A heavy reliance on machine learning models can create blind spots in security systems. To effectively combat this, it’s crucial to implement a multi-layered strategy utilizing all three waves. Rule-based systems establish a strong baseline for threat detection by identifying and mitigating known vulnerabilities through predefined algorithms. Machine learning builds on these algorithms to adapt to new and emerging threat patterns. Finally, cognitive AI technologies deliver sophisticated, context-aware responses to complex and evolving cybersecurity challenges, ensuring a comprehensive defense mechanism. This strategic blend of AI technologies underscores the importance of a diverse and robust approach to cybersecurity, setting the stage for a deeper exploration of practical AI applications.

In the next blog post, “How RAVENii Uses AI,” I will take a deeper dive into the practical applications of these strategies and explore how RAVENii not only implements these advanced AI technologies but how RAVENii effectively address the inherent challenges of AI.

Written By: Zachary Yelland

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