In a threat landscape characterised by constant change, accurately predicting the evolution of tactics used by cyber-criminals is anything but easy. From lightning-speed ransomware to stealthy unknowns that bypass traditional perimeter defences, staying at the forefront of modern threats is hard when new developments come with each passing day.

Eager to mitigate risk, information security professionals adopt a proactive approach and keep their finger firmly on the pulse of each new development. Strategies are updated in line with common trends while new security products are purchased to strengthen defences. However, in a cyber-arms race, anticipating the methods of malicious actors is becoming increasingly challenging.

Enter Artificial Intelligence.

AI technology may still be in its infancy, but the potential it has already shown in learning from large volumes of data makes software of this kind a contender in the on-going fight against cyber-crime. By nature, artificial intelligence programmes are always changing. In order to determine common trends and recurring patterns, these systems are designed to grow and develop by soaking up the data we provide them with. In theory, machine learning is the perfect tool for combatting attacks and predicting how techniques in this sphere will evolve.

While there may not be many use cases to draw from, it’s clear that adopting machine learning technology into a cybersecurity strategy is a step in the right direction. Of course, Artificial Intelligence may be a useful weapon in an information security expert’s arsenal, but businesses must bear in mind that it is by no means a silver bullet solution.

No matter how sophisticated our technology becomes, the demand for human oversight in this area is unlikely to drop. What’s more, developing technology that learns on-the-job is a difficult feat, and it’s likely we still have far to go before we can fully rely on AI to defend our networks.

Andrew Tsonchev said “Organisations are facing everything from lightning-speed ransomware to stealthy ‘unknown unknowns’ that bypass traditional perimeter defences to silently carry out espionage over long periods of time. Human defenders simply cannot keep up with modern threats, especially as they manage increasingly complex networks. Signature-based systems are built around the concept of recognising and blocking the exploit and may require a new signature for each variant. The signature-based system doesn’t fix the underlying weakness, though it could shield it for a while.”

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