Artificial Intelligence as Security Solution and Weaponization by Hackers

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Artificial intelligence is a double-edged sword that can be used as a security solution or as a weapon by hackers. AI entails developing programs and systems capable of exhibiting traits associated with human behaviors. The characteristics include the ability to adapt to a particular environment or to intelligently respond to a situation. AI technologies have extensively been applied in cybersecurity solutions, but hackers are also leveraging them to develop intelligent malware programs and execute stealth attacks.

AI as a Security Solution

Security experts have conducted a lot of research to harness the capabilities of AI and incorporate them into security solutions. AI-enabled security tools and products can detect and respond to cybersecurity incidents with minimal or zero input from humans. AI applications in cybersecurity have proved to be highly useful. Twenty-five percent of IT decision-makers attribute security as the primary reason why they adopt AI and machine

learning in organizational cybersecurity. AI not only improves security posture, but it also automates detection and response processes. This cuts on the finances and time used in human-driven intervention and detection processes.

Applications of AI in cybersecurity

Modeling User Behavior

Organizations use AI to model and monitor the behavior of system users. The purpose of monitoring the interactions between a system and users is to identify takeover attacks. These are attacks where malicious employees steal login details of other users and use their accounts to commit different types of cybercrimes. AI learns the user activities over time such that it considers unusual behavior as anomalies. Whenever a different user uses the account, AI-powered systems can detect the unusual activity patterns and respond either by locking out the user or immediately alert system admins of the changes.

Applying AI in Antivirus Products

Antivirus tools with AI capabilities detect network or system anomalies by identifying programs exhibiting unusual behavior. Malware programs are coded to execute functions that differ from standard computer operations. AI antiviruses leverage machine learning tactics to learn how legitimate programs interact with an operating system. As such, whenever malware programs are introduced to a network, AI antivirus solutions can immediately detect them and block them from accessing systems resources. This contrasts from signature-based traditional antiviruses which scans a signature database to determine whether a program is a security threat.

Automated Network and System Analysis

Automated analysis of system or network data ensures continuous monitoring for prompt identification of attempted intrusions. Manual analysis is nearly impossible due to the sheer volume of data generated by user activities. Cybercriminals use command and control (C2) tactics to penetrate network defenses without being detected. 

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