Man VS Machine – Is AI Enough To Protect From Cyberattacks?

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In a world where AI is used to boost cybercrime, will it be enough to protect against it as well? Experts claim human input is still necessary to mitigate cyber threats.

AI use is ever-increasing, and there is no doubt that these tools are being used for good as well as maliciously. Cybercrime is not only here to stay, it is growing and improving, and artificial intelligence tools will only help.

In the past, cybercrime was a specialist activity that required trained professionals, but nowadays anyone can ask a chatbot to generate code and achieve sophisticated results that were previously completely out of their reach. These technologies increase both the volume and the sophistication of cyberattacks.

According to Innovation News Network, one-third of organizations in the UK say they monitor less than 75% of their attack surface and 20% believe over half is unknown or unobservable.

These unobserved spots represent the greatest risk for organizations, as well as the biggest opportunity for criminals.

Organizations have used AI-based, automated scanners for years to try and assess their attack surface and find vulnerabilities, with mixed results. On the one hand, these tools are inexpensive and fast. But on the other, they only detect a fragment of known vulnerabilities and tend to provide a lot of false positives.

These tools ultimately require human input to interpret the result to actually be effective, which is a common theme with AI and ML-based tools. AI is only as good as its operator.

A possible solution suggested in an article by Laurie Mercer, director of security engineering at HackerOne, is to incorporate ethical hackers into the equation. She states: “It needs human intelligence imbued with the attitude of a cybercriminal, which is why ethical hacking makes such a positive difference to security programs. Hackers can work hand in hand with organizations to tailor their assessments to each unique technical environment and the cybersecurity tools that they have in place.”

It seems that despite doomsayers claiming AI is going to take over human jobs, there seems to be a more positive future integrating machine power and human input for the best results.