Why AI for Cybersecurity?
A Strong Cybersecurity Posture Today Requires
the Ability to do Three Key Things
- Gather and process a massive amount of data.
- Correlate meaningful signals and filter out useless noise.
- Make data-driven and innovative decisions based on the findings.
Typically, organizations use a variety of tools and vendors to cover the steps, requiring a significant amount of manual work to generate little value, and never tying together the data to drive decisions and insight. The key inhibitor is that most of the data gathering is done by machines, but little of the sense-making.
Fortunately, artificial intelligence can now handle data gathering and correlation with ease, yielding powerful insights while allowing high-value security operators to focus exclusively on what matters: stopping advanced persistent threats in their environment.
A confluence of these three challenges is creating a world where AI-driven cybersecurity is no longer optional, but required:
NOISY, HETEROGENEOUS SECURITY DATA
Businesses are collecting an incredible volume of diverse datasets from a range of sources in their attempt to understand and control the security of their environments. It’s difficult to decipher signal from noise and hackers know they can leverage the size and noisiness of their target environments to mask malicious activity.
INCREDIBLY SOPHISTICATED HACKERS
As the volume and value of corporate data increases, bad actors create stealthier, more ingenious ways of accessing and stealing it. This results in an arms race between cybersecurity technologists and hackers—and right now, the hackers are winning.
A SHORTAGE OF CYBERSECURITY TALENT
There are hundreds of thousands of open cybersecurity jobs, and the number is rapidly increasing as more businesses acknowledge their vulnerability and seek to mitigate it. The need for technology to amplify and accelerate the abilities of security professionals is a huge force behind AI-driven cybersecurity.
How AI in Cybersecurity Changes the Game
For cybersecurity, there are a few requirements to focus on that will give you the best bang for your buck:
Accelerated Detection of advanced adversaries in your environment
Understand the Question You’re Asking: Don’t go into an AI project thinking you’ll get answers to questions you never asked. Instead, understand the kinds of questions you can answer with AI, and how to frame them to get the most accurate, valuable answers.
Use the Right Data for the Question: Just because AI can grind through data and tell you something about it doesn’t mean you need to do that with all your data at once. Start with the most meaningful data sets for the problem you’re trying to solve, and add others as it becomes strategically valuable.
Pick Models Carefully: AI is all about finding patterns in data. If you understand what the right answer looks like (e.g., language understanding), that’s fairly straightforward. However, if you’re addressing a complex problem (like adversary detection), it’s often better to start looking for basic patterns you understand and add more behaviors/models as you understand your data better. Otherwise, you’re likely to find yourself overwhelmed with results that don’t make sense.
There are a few key attributes of AI systems that make them ideal for solving today’s toughest security challenges.
Scalability: A properly architected AI system can handle enormous volumes of data. Behaviors that would normally be lost in the noise are exactly what AI-driven systems are great at detecting.
Adaptability: The very nature of AI systems is to adapt to new circumstances. This makes AI a great fit for the rapidly shape-shifting and increasingly complex world of cybersecurity, where templated approaches go stale before they even get to market.
Speed: Machines think faster than people. When it comes to making judgments, and devising creative solutions, humans still reign, but for processing massive amounts of data and noticing when something is suspicious, AI is unbeatable.
At Versive, we’re working to help companies thrive in the increasingly dangerous cyber threat landscape by letting AI take care of the heavy data crunching so that humans can focus on the creative planning and execution they’re best at.