Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity: The New Era of Total Security?

As we enter into our modern (yet very eventful) era of 2020, we as a society are also entering into our next phase of the ‘Digital Age’ whether it be our advancing smart-phones to our everyday smart-appliances. The tides are beginning to shift in our digital world as a specific path within the world of Computer Science is becoming more highlighted within many schools, universities, and jobs all over the world. . . Cybersecurity.

What is Cybersecurity?

The official definition of Cybersecurity has described it as, “the protection of internet-connected systems such as hardware, software, or data from cyber threats.”

In a simpler definition, Cybersecurity is what has been helping to protect our digital information from cyberterrorists, hackers, etc. Cybersecurity has its place in our government, companies, facilities, and more.

Without those who excel in the world of Cybersecurity, our information would be at high-risk in many dangerous situations such as extortion and/or identity threats. While there are people who are doing their very best to protect the sanctity of private information, it is also our job to not privy our private information on many public social sites with things such as our home address, name, age, and more that would risk your private information from being used by a total stranger.

But as I’ve mentioned before, our society is further advancing towards a totally ‘Digital Age’. What does that mean for the world of Cybersecurity and those who work within it? Currently, there are many industries who are moving towards a Cybersecurity system that’s totally revolved on the idea and direction of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ or AI.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Similar to the last, this is the official definition of Artificial Intelligence which states, “the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems.”

Artificial Intelligence is a very complicated pathway within the world of Computer Science as it revolves on the basis of self-automated technology which can rely on itself to make decisions based on any given data from an external source. . . or in a more simpler way, I usually describe Artificial Intelligence as an imagery: Robots.

Some small instances of Artificial Intelligence in everyday technology is found within the confines of your iPhone (if you have one)! As you know, Siri, is your self-automated helper system which will assist you in any way that it can such as playing a specific song or creating an itemized list for your next drive to the grocery’s mart.

So, what if more and more industries, facilities, leaders, and more rely on the presence of an AI to protect the most trivial of information from outside cyber-threats?

This is the ethical question that many leading experts in Computer Science are asking today. As our era progresses, more and more of our technology are advancing with the changing times.

So, more and more industries are changing their reliance from in-person cyber experts to the presence of a self-thinking system.

Benefits and Disadvantages of AI in Cybersecurity

Cyber-threats can come very quickly or very slowly. Some can come with an abundant amount of code while others can be a direct attack on a specific database within the infrastructure.

So, here are some situations in which Artificial Intelligence could be used to detect the presence of malware.

Firstly, what is malware?
Malware can be simply referred to as a dangerous line of code to the presence of a hungry virus. It’s official definition refers to malware as, “a program or file that is harmful to a computer user.”

Benefits of AI in Cybersecurity

  1. Trying to find a virus under a wall of useless coding
    When it comes to finding a virus, there are some tricky instances where the presence of malware can be found in one line of coding. Using the perception of a human vs. the perception of a system, a system would be more reliable when trying to find the one line of coding since it can quickly scan, trash, and find the malware.
  2. A self-automated system can track changes from the presence of daily basis
    Many industries and facilities use simple systems such as an AI-based networking tool which can scan the and track what users do on a daily basis in order to alert another system of a defect in that schedule. Based on how severe it is, this can drastically reduce the threat of a cyber terrorist or hacker from attempting to infiltrate the system or it can also prevent many simple mistakes a worker can do such as clicking on a fishy-link under their work account.
  3. Responses from AI are more time sensitive than with a worker
    By using a self-automated system, the response time from AI vs. a worker is lightning fast when compared to each other. Since the system knows exactly what it is looking for, it really is not hard for the AI system to find discrepancies within the walls of coding that has been laid out whether it be from another system or human.

Consequences of AI in Cybersecurity

  1. Artificial Intelligence requires instructions given by a human
    Most systems require the presence of humans whether it be to input data or check on data. Human workers are required to check on the conditions of the system. While the system is self-automated and/or self-thinking, it still requires a human presence in order to make sure the system itself will not cause any dangers towards their infrastructure.
  2. The Risks of Automation
    Automation is a very high risk for human workers everywhere. For example, more and more self-automated robots are being used in factories and engineering industries which is quickly depleting the access of jobs for citizens everywhere. So, by increasing the chance for Artificial Intelligence in our jobs, we are increasing the risk of Automation taking over industries as more and more enterprises begin to use it.
  3. Relying on AI more and more can bring more disasters than accomplishments
    While Artificial Intelligence can be a blessing in our lives (such as our dear friend ‘Siri’), the more we rely on it the more we are at risk of creating a bigger risk for a data infrastructure. By heavily relying on this piece of technology, workers would be at risk of losing the protection of their system all together if it were to face such a complication that threatens the security of an enterprise. In summary, if workers rely on the system too much, workers run the risk of losing control of the system if it faces a problem in which the system can’t control.

Personal Opinion

In my opinion, Artificial Intelligence has really aided us in our daily lives with our electronics and appliances. While we do not really think about it that much, Artificial Intelligence has become part of our lives now more than ever.

What I am concerned is security. If the wrong people were to acquire our information, we all would be at risk of extreme control on our identity and our lives. I’m not especially comfortable with the idea of an AI controlling my information such as my emails or messages, but I don’t shy away from their accomplishments. I believe that Artificial Intelligence is our future when it comes to our electronics and security but I firmly believe that right now we should be focusing on giving our workers and students the knowledge they need in order to become a protector of our private information.

Do you have a different opinion? Maybe a story to share? Don’t be afraid to comment below! 🙂

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