Cyber Security and AI: how is it changing?

We’ve seen exponential growth of technology in our everyday lives and within the world of work. Everything has changed.

The number of users online across the world surged from 4.1 billion in 2019 to 4.9 billion in 2021, meaning 63% of the world’s population is now digitally connected. The shift has opened new markets, increased the quantity of analysable data, and pushed non-tech businesses to digitise their systems to compete with tech start-ups, facilitate remote working, and gain a customer advantage.

But how will tech integration affect cyber security roles and the way we work? What jobs are threatened by technology, and how can we prepare for the future of work?

An overview on the cyber security industry

The Internet of Things (IoT), cloud systems, drones, and smart devices are increasing efficiency and revolutionising the way companies do business. However, such technological advancements have also made them vulnerable to cyber threats. According to the 2022 Gartner Board of Directors Survey, the percentage of boards considering cyber security a business risk has risen from 58% to 88% in the past five years. Now more and more organisations are addressing cyber risk and focusing on cyber security. According to IBM, prolonged detection and response time to contain threats cause companies severe losses. In 2022, the average cost of data breaches was $4.35 million globally. However, the companies with a fully deployed AI and automation program saved $3.05 million due to faster detection and response time to threats. 

AI’s Role in Cybersecurity and Detecting Cyber Threats

AI is a powerful technology that offers advanced tools to combat attacks by detecting and blocking threats and securing networks and services. Unlike traditional cyber security techniques that only detect known threats, AI prevents new attacks using autonomous systems and learning patterns. Even when partially deployed, AI surpasses traditional systems, thus substantially minimising threats. With attacks becoming more sophisticated, traditional methods may fail to effectively secure organisational networks and services. This is where AI steps in to extend the scope of threat detection and enhance security. 

How Can AI Testing Enhance Cyber Security?

    1. Vulnerability Management – It is important to proactively contain vulnerabilities in the network before they infiltrate the network. AI and machine learning use advanced techniques to analyse suspicious patterns and vulnerabilities, thus boosting network security.
    2. Data Handling – AI monitors the transactional data in the organisation’s network and protects it from possible threats.
    3. Threat Detection – AI employs behavioural analysis to identify malicious activities in real-time and offers immediate responses to threats.
      Network Monitoring and Security – AI sets a point of reference for the company’s network traffic and utilizes it to evaluate and guard the network.
    4. Higher Security Over Time – AI gets smarter and improves its security measures continuously with time.

What AI can help within cyber security: 

    • Malware detection
    • Breach risk prediction 
    • Spam filtering and bot identification
    • Phishing detection 
    • Password protection and user authentication

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Challenges in How AI is Changing Cybersecurity

Despite its advantages, AI also has some limitations, these include:

      1. AI and machine learning are expensive to implement
      2. AI systems rely on various data sets that might not be feasible for small businesses
      3. Attackers can use AI to make attacks severe and difficult to detect
      4. AI uses biometric authentication to protect data, however this information can be detrimental to the hands of an attacker
      5. AI requires companies need to adopt specific functions and rules to operate accurately, which can be quite challenging.

Future of AI in Cybersecurity

According to Forbes, businesses are spending billions on AI and automation technologies, and where AI technologies are essential and heavily integrated, is set to become a $500 billion market by 2025. As companies adopt new technologies, AI continues to help organizations protect their network and systems. 

Is Cybersecurity a Good Career?

Globally, there are over 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings, and this demand for cyber security professionals will only rise over time. Cyber Magazine reported there are around 1.1 million people employed in cyber security in the US, with over 700,000 unfilled positions currently available. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth of 35% for information security analysts in the next ten years, making it one of the fastest-growing professions. According to Payscale, the average annual salary of a cyber security engineer is $100k (US) and £75,000 (UK) making it an exceptional career opportunity.