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Artificial intelligence (AI) represents the future for many industries. Hypothetically capable of exceeding human intelligence and solving problems without the need to tie up massive quantities of man-hours, the cybersecurity industry has taken an interest in AI applications and modifications to its current security approaches.

But just how prevalent is AI in cybersecurity currently? What is it capable of? And where is it going from here?

Biggest Changes to Watch

These are some of the most transformative ways AI is affecting the cybersecurity industry:

  • Behavioral patterns. Like a body’s immune system, a good security system is one that is able to differentiate between what’s truly a threat, and what’s innocuous—even when they look similar. AI security systems like Deep Sentinel are starting to differentiate between the behavior of would-be thieves and postal workers in the real-world, and that same behavioral identification technology could be used to proactively differentiate hackers and regular visitors.
  • Autonomous bug detection. The biggest security breaches tend to come from hidden, barely noticeable bugs in a system that can be exploited by eagle-eyed hackers. Though most big corporations employ highly talented human beings to proactively scan for these bugs, they’re usually so familiar with the system or sufficiently prone to errors that some bugs inevitably slip through. That’s why new AI programs are creating faster, autonomous algorithms that can detect bugs more reliably than their human counterparts. Plus, they can work constantly, without the need for rest, and without the inconsistencies of human eyes.
  • Predictive threat analysis. Some programs, like SparkCognition’s Deep Armor, function by intelligently predicting what types of malware and cyberattacks could be in our future. Rather than building better present defenses or reacting to threats in a more intelligent way, Deep Armor tries to hypothesize what moves cyber criminals will take next—and take proactive measures to stop them before they emerge.
  • Self-improving neural networks. Brain-mimicking neural networks are used for AI algorithms designed for high-level tasks, from mastering the ancient strategy game of Go or competing with Jeopardy! game show champions. Now, “dueling” AI algorithms are being developed specifically to compete with one another, forcing a mutual, iterative advancement that speeds up how fast neural networks can learn. These self-improving neural networks could quickly exceed the limitations of human-based designs, as there’s truly no ceiling to how far they could modify themselves.

Key Takeaways

As a business owner, it’s in your best interest to invest in your own cybersecurity standards. Over 43 percent of cyber attacks target small businesses, and it’s estimated that cyber attacks will cost businesses more than $2 trillion in 2019.

These AI developments are fascinating, but what actions can you take today?

  • Don’t assume your data is safe. Your data is the most important asset your business has, so don’t just assume it’s safe. Cyber criminals are using ever-more-advanced techniques to find loopholes in your data storage, so invest in data storage solutions from experts like SAP, who have state-of-the-art systems and are committed to ongoing improvement.
  • Keep watch for new technologies. Updated technology is safe technology. If you fall too far behind the times, you’ll become an easy target.
  • Reduce reliance on human beings. Though it may be scary to rely on autonomous programs for your security, they’re far less prone to errors than their human counterparts—even in these early stages of AI development.

Take advantage of new AI solutions as they emerge and prove themselves capable in the open market. The more proactive you are with your cybersecurity strategy, the better.

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