Mainstream AI Software Tools: Friend or Foe to Cybersecurity Professionals?

The global artificial intelligence (AI) market is projected to grow by a staggering 2,000%—or 20 times over—between 2021 and 2030. This stratospheric rise stems from various industries adopting AI as a central element of their technology stacks.

Cybersecurity is no exception. But in cyberspace, AI has proven to be a two-edged sword. Both criminals and digital protectors wield AI as a weapon. It's essential to understand the potential of AI so you can grasp the extent to which AI software tools can impact your security posture.

AI: The Formidable Ally

AI enables cybersecurity professionals to prevent and mitigate threats with the speed, accuracy, and efficiency that are infeasible using traditional methods. Here's how those at the cutting edge of cyber defense are leveraging AI:

Threat Detection and Response

You can fully integrate AI-powered threat detection and response systems into your security portfolio and slash precious hours from your weekly workload. For example, AI can automatically analyze log data and examine the domains, URLs, and internet protocols (IPs) your company interacts with.

The system can then compare what it discovers against a database of known indicators of compromise (IOCs). If the AI detects a match, it creates an incident, flagging it for administrators and network defenders to address.

Routine Task Automation to Reduce Human Error

AI can handle many of the most mundane and laborious tasks IT teams have to contend with every day. For instance, with a traditional incident response system, you may have to allocate people to:

• Collect network data.
• Correlate that data to users, locations, periods, and other parameters.
• Perform an initial analysis.

Now, AI can do all this. You can use an AI system to handle most heavy lifting to detect and triage threats. Leveraging AI in this way increases the accuracy of your incident detection and response system. Additionally, you free up your team to focus on other value-adding tasks.

Enhanced Anomaly Detection and Pattern Recognition

With network data cascading into your security system from numerous sources, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the waterfall of information. But AI can handle vast influxes of data and detect anomalies using pattern recognition.
For example, administrators can use AI to detect safe network states that can use as a baseline for comparative analysis. The AI system can then analyze the network for anomalies that break safe-state patterns. For instance, if there's a surge in the amount of data leaving your network, AI can detect this, determine which network area is at risk, and shut it down to stop the bleeding until you can investigate further.

AI: A Potential Adversary

As with most technology, AI can also be dangerous in the wrong hands. For example, attackers can use AI to:

Create polymorphing malware. Hackers are using ChatGPT to build malicious code, including polymorphing malware that alters its code to avoid detection. Because the program ends up with a different signature but can still do what it's programmed to do, it can penetrate defenses that would typically be able to identify it.

Generate more believable social engineering scripts. For example, an attacker who isn't fluent in English can have an AI write emails to pressure people into divulging sensitive information.

Evade network defenses. Hackers can use AI to learn what intrusion detection systems look for and develop strategies to evade them.

Countering AI as a Security Threat

The security issues presented by AI provide a reason for pause, and several measures are being implemented to counter its potential negative impact.

For example, artificial intelligence software providers like ChatGPT's Open AI have been developing stricter protocols to prevent hackers from misusing their apps. ChatGPT can now consider the context of a request instead of merely the request's content to determine malicious intent.

Microsoft has reportedly invested around $10 billion in ChatGPT, which can make it a much safer tool. In addition, at the RSA Conference 2023, Microsoft introduced:• Sentinel Advanced Threat Analytics, which leverages AI to pinpoint threats and respond to them

• Cloud App Security, a tool that provides greater visibility and control over your cloud app environment;

• Defender for Cloud Apps, which uses AI to protect cloud resources from attackers.

Leverage the Latest Cybersecurity technology.

Attackers can abuse AI, but several positive shifts in the cybersecurity space can limit its misuse.
The cybersecurity experts at GSI leverage the most recent threat intelligence and defense technology to combat a wide swath of threats—from both AI and traditional attack methods. GSI can advise you on the best AI-powered tools to safeguard your organization. This way, you get comprehensive solutions that can adapt to changes in the threat landscape and accelerate your company's growth.

Learn more by connecting with GSI today.