AI in Cyber Security Part 2: Reinventing Corporate Defences

In Part 1 of this article we explored how AI is infiltrating the cyber security landscape. Today we dive deep into the AI abyss to demonstrate how new AI and machine learning (ML) technologies are reinventing the way in which organisations across the world think about — and react to — new cyber threats.

The Third Major Tech Transformation

AI is poised to be the next big shake-up in IT, following the digital and cloud revolutions. It’s stirring up its fair share of buzz and nerves too! With IT leaders fighting against a cyber security talent gap for nearly ten years, these burgeoning AI algorithms are infiltrating tech at every level, offering much-needed assistance coupled with frighteningly real threats to the security of what is arguably our most valuable asset: data.

Get ready for a tech revolution: ML and AI are about to infiltrate everything (well maybe not that old Nokia 3310 in the desk drawer but you get the idea)! This means IT and cyber security professionals can wave goodbye to tedious tasks, thanks to AI-driven smart algorithms. We’ll be free to focus on what really counts, piecing together the puzzle of AI-generated data to make strategic decisions. Smaller companies are even jumping on the AI bandwagon thanks to its proliferation and broad application, leveraging AI and ML not just for smoother business operations but also for tighter cyber security.

But, there’s a twist: as these tools improve, they’ll also become a favourite in the cybercriminal’s toolkit. Expect more sophisticated phishing attacks with AI mimicking human behaviour and language a little too well.

What is becoming apparent is that AI and ML are engulfing our lives in both positive and negative ways.

AI-volution: Game-Changing Real-World Applications

AI and machine learning accelerate processes at scale. From better visibility of data to improved insight into the usage of data, let’s look at some real-world applications of AI and ML in a cyber security context:

  • Data Discovery: Unleashing AI’s Analytical Power: Dive into your data like never before. With Machine Learning (ML), cyber security teams can now dissect and understand their vast data pools. This isn’t just about identifying what’s there; it’s about gaining crystal-clear visibility and insight, enabling informed decisions on security controls and access violations. As these algorithms evolve, they will become adept at distinguishing normal user actions from malicious behaviour, turning your data into a fortress against cyber threats.
  • Data Classification: Elevating Risk Management with AI: In the ever-growing digital business landscape, AI and ML take data classification to the next level. Sophisticated ML algorithms don’t just recognise data by language or patterns but also by similarities to existing classifications. The result? Sharper, more efficient file tagging, easier searchability, reduced duplication, and a significant cutdown on human error. Data classification is being redefined to ensure better precision and streamlined efficiency.
  • Email Security: Machine Learning’s Cutting Edge: The battleground of email security is evolving, and ML is leading the charge against increasingly cunning cyber threats. Modern phishing and Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks are becoming more sophisticated, but ML steps up by learning and discerning unique patterns in wording and phrasing. It uses nuanced lexical expressions and anomalous sender IDs to safeguard your organisation, enhancing your defence mechanisms in real-time.
  • Managed File Transfer (MFT): On the Cusp of an AI Revolution: The realm of MFT is ripe for an AI takeover. Though still in early stages, we foresee a future where AI and ML not only understand MFT platform behaviours but elevate its traditional benefits. Picture AI-enhanced SLA configurations and alert systems that respond dynamically to performance issues like file transfers failing or being delayed. With compliance regulations like HIPAA, PCI and GDPR in play, AI’s scalability and responsiveness in MFT are not just beneficial, they’re essential.

Embracing the Revolution: What comes next?

AI has landed with a bang! While the world marvels at the latest conversational AI, the shadow of cybercrime looms larger, now armed with the same intelligent tools and machine learning algorithms. It’s no longer about whether to adopt AI and ML, but how and when. As cyberattacks grow in frequency and sophistication, the demand for smart, automated defences skyrockets.

With the IT talent pool already stretched thin, IT and tech leaders are having to evolve into strategic maestros of AI and ML systems. But there’s a silver lining: these very tools that fortify our defences also streamline operations, slashing costs and boosting efficiency. From unearthing and categorising data to fortifying emails and enhancing threat detection, the benefits are vast.

HANDD has more than a decade of experience working with the latest cyber security technologies to support Data Discovery, Data Classification, Email Security, Managed File Transfer and much more. In that time we’ve become a trusted partner to more than 700 customers in 27 countries around the world, delivering independent advice on the identification, integration and roll out of data protection platforms and strategies.

Today we support eight of the world’s largest banks, six of the world’s top ten insurance providers, and 45% of the entire FTSE 100.

To learn more about the impact of AI on the cyber security landscape download our 16-page whitepaper.