Understanding the Role of AI in Cybersecurity: Benefits and Risks


Understanding the Role of AI in Cybersecurity: Benefits and Risks


With a majority of IT executives believing artificial intelligence will be necessary to respond to
cyberattacks, the interest in artificial intelligence (AI) solutions appears to be growing by the

Today, AI is quickly becoming an integral part of many cybersecurity strategies, and
organizations of all sizes are making the most of this technology to safeguard their systems
against bad actors with increased efficiency

But what role does AI play in cybersecurity—and what should users be mindful of as they
implement this technology into their defense strategy?

How is AI Used in Cybersecurity?

Organizations can use AI in many ways as they look for strategies to manage and mitigate
incoming threats. Generally, the way AI is used in cybersecurity can be broken down into three
separate concepts:

  • Detecting potential threats
  • Responding to threats
  • Automating the remediation of these detected threats (including installing security patches or updating software)

In many ways, AI stands to change the way most organizations handle cybersecurity—with new
tools and strategies designed to uncover and even prevent threats. Here are a few specific
ways that AI can be used as part of an overarching cybersecurity strategy:

  • Ongoing threat detection: Organizations use AI to identify threats in real time through machine-learning algorithms that track and learn normal behavior patterns, spotting irregularities that could signify a potential attack.
  • Understanding vulnerabilities: AI solutions perform vulnerability assessments, scanning software to identify security gaps and misconfigurations that could pose potential as a risk.
  • Malware detection: Some AI solutions have been developed specifically to find malware by learning the typical behavior, signatures, and warning signs of these kinds of threats.
  • Fraud detection: Businesses use AI to detect fraudulent activity, including instances of financial fraud or identity theft, all by analyzing existing behavior patterns and data from transactions.
  • Management of risk: Like vulnerability assessments, AI tools perform an assessment of an overall security risk, then detail strategies for how to reduce the potential for a breach.
  • Automate security operations: AI can automate certain security operations like incident response or analyzing alerts. This technology can also be used to initiate specific security responses according to a set list of predefined rules.

The Benefits of AI for Cybersecurity

As technologies continue to expand and evolve, so will the ways that AI is used to ward off
threats and mitigate the risk of an attack or data breach.

There’s a range of benefits when implementing AI into an intuitive, holistic cybersecurity
strategy. For example, AI can be used for endpoint detection and response to locate threats and
vulnerabilities in end-user devices across entire networks. AI for cybersecurity can also enforce
application allow-lists (formerly known as application whitelisting) to only run trusted applications
and reduce the risk of attack.

The benefits of AI in cyber security include applications like:

  • Monitoring endpoints and end-user device access
  • Detailing how hardware and software solutions are typically utilized
  • Tracking routine user behavior and spotting abnormal behavior
  • Identifying vulnerabilities and fortifying security protocols with targeted strategies
  • Preventing unauthorized user access to networks and sensitive data
  • Assessing specific ways organizations can strengthen network security
  • Improving recovery time following a breach
  • Delivering detailed explanations and assessments for key decision-makers

Stay Alert: The Risks of AI in Cyber Security

AI in cybersecurity poses a significant opportunity to help organizations monitor their systems
and mitigate the risk of attack. However, it’s important to remember that AI isn’t a cure-all to
address every security-related issue. AI should be thought of as one component of an entire,
multilayered approach to security. Organizations shouldn’t rely solely on AI to ward off attacks,
but instead should combine AI with other solutions under the supervision of real experts.

For starters, some bad actors can manipulate AI systems, hijacking them to keep them from
getting detected. Because of this, AI for network security should be carefully and continuously

It’s hard to know exactly what risks there are with AI and cyber security, since bad actors evolve
as quickly as technology does. Here are a few vulnerabilities to keep in mind:

  • Transparency: Many AI cybersecurity solutions aren’t transparent about how detection models are created, which means it can be challenging to explain precisely how intelligence is gathered and analyzed—or why you need to take action regarding a particular risk.
  • Lack of variety: AI systems are as reliable as the data used in their creation—which means that some code may ignores certain newer vulnerabilities or threats.
  • Security concerns: Just like with any other solution that’s part of an organization’s tech stack, an AI cybersecurity tool should be maintained with routine updates, penetration testing, monitoring, and patching to ensure it’s not manipulated by hackers in an AI cyber attack.

Other risk areas to track regarding AI in network security include data privacy, thorough testing
during implementation, and identifying potential risks with third-party AI solutions.

To reduce the risk associated with AI and cyber security, organizations implementing AI in their
cybersecurity strategies should consider the following risk mitigation considerations:

  • How cybersecurity-related data is captured, collected, and utilized
  • How threat models are developed and evaluated
  • How AI cybersecurity tools are tested versus their performance in the real world
  • How service-level agreements with providers can protect the organization
  • How industry-specific regulations impact the use of AI solutions

Take Cybersecurity to the Next Level

While traditional security measures, like spam filters, firewalls, and anti-virus were once enough
to keep an organization protected, that’s no longer true. By responsibly incorporating AI and
automation tools into a security tech stack, organizations can dramatically increase the odds of
preventing a modern-day breach.

Through Rocket IT’s Ideal IT solution, organizations are offered a suite of AI-based security
solutions that are guaranteed to meet compliance regulations and mitigate risks.

Ready to learn more? Contact us to schedule a consultation!

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