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Cybersecurity with Artificial Intelligence (AI): Essential Use Cases You Should Know

Despite becoming a business buzzword in recent times, AI is a truly revolutionary force that is set to improve, disrupt, or otherwise augment many aspects of the world at large. 

In the realm of cybersecurity, AI may be at its most impactful. It can independently monitor, analyze, and respond to cyber threats with extreme alacrity and efficiency. This helps manage repetitive and monotonous security tasks that might lead to cybersecurity staff complacency while conducting in-depth analyses of potential security vulnerabilities in real-time. Cybercriminals are also using AI to supercharge their malicious work, making social engineering attacks much more difficult to detect and generating sophisticated malware that can bypass traditional cybersecurity technologies.

From personal data to critical infrastructure and everywhere in between, AI will play an increasingly critical role in cybersecurity going forward. Knowing essential cybersecurity use cases for AI can help your organization protect its operations, data, and bottom line in the years to come. 

Advanced Malware and Phishing Detection

As we cover in The 10 Most Common Cyber Attacks and What You Can Do to Protect Yourself, malware and phishing are two of the most common cyberattacks today, with the latter being involved in more than 90% of successful attacks.1 AI is being used to boost platforms that detect and prevent malware and phishing through a variety of means:

  • Enhanced Threat Identification: AI can analyze vast datasets to pinpoint malicious files and malware strains, significantly enhancing threat identification processes.
  • Zero-Day Exploit Prediction: Zero-day exploits are when a previously unknown vulnerability is exploited. AI can identify patterns to uncover security flaws before they are used as attack vectors.
  • Phishing Campaign Detection: AI not only flags suspicious emails and messages used in phishing campaigns, but it can also simulate social engineering attacks.

User Authentication and Access Control

As we cover in Why Improving Cybersecurity Needs to Be a Priority and How to Get Started Right Now, administrative controls—the policies and procedures that dictate how users interact with systems and networks— are critical for cybersecurity.

  • AI-Driven Authentication: AI algorithms can process biometric data, facial recognition, and behavioral analysis with high accuracy and speed.2
  • Dynamic Access Control: AI-powered systems offer adaptive access control policies, considering factors like time, location, and the device used to flag potential intrusions, automate user enrollment, access level configuration, permissions management, and more.3
  • Enhanced Security Insights: AI’s capability to analyze large volumes of access data provides valuable insights into user behavior and intent. This can enable organizations to find and resolve security vulnerabilities and threats before attacks occur.4
  • Privacy-Enhancing Technologies (PETs): AI-driven PETs dynamically manage and enforce data privacy regulations in real-time, ensuring compliance to safeguard user data.5

Incident Response and Threat Remediation

While AI is excellent for preventative cybersecurity measures, it can also provide a direct response to a wide variety of attacks and incursions, including:  

  • Incident Classification and Prioritization: Machine learning AI can categorize incidents based on severity, impact, and root cause, prioritizing responses to threats by level of urgency.6
  • Automated Incident Response: AI systems can act as an autonomous cybersecurity team to isolate affected devices, block malicious IP addresses, and execute a wide range of actions to combat and contain cyberattacks.
  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP): Utilizing advanced machine learning algorithms, AI-driven DLP systems can prevent unauthorized data access to protect sensitive information from potential leaks and demands for ransom.7

The Future of AI in Cybersecurity

As we look toward the future of AI in cybersecurity, several key trends and projections stand out, highlighting the dual role of AI as both a critical protective tool and a potential weapon.

From 2025 to 2030, the AI cybersecurity market is projected to grow from $46.3 billion to $138.8 billion.8

This level of investment over such a short time frame indicates that AI will become a driving force of both cybersecurity and cybercrime. Cybercriminals have had increasing success in not only using AI in cyberattacks and deepfake scams, they are also becoming increasingly successful at exploiting AI algorithms to bypass security measures. 

For the “good guys” in this continuum, that means AI has to become a key element of your defense in depth architecture for it to remain effective as a first step. The second (and equally important) step is staying ahead of the trends in cybersecurity and continually adopting the latest best practices and technologies as they emerge.

1 https://techjury.net/blog/how-many-cyber-attacks-per-day/#gref
2 https://www.fpc-security.com/artificial-intelligence-ai-in-access-control/
3 https://www.spica.com/blog/access-control-and-ai
4 https://www.fpc-security.com/artificial-intelligence-ai-in-access-control/
5 https://www.spiceworks.com/it-security/identity-access-management/guest-article/how-can-ai-powered-solutions-enhance-identity-security/
6 https://www.linkedin.com/advice/1/what-benefits-using-artificial-intelligence-incident-ug0ee
7 https://www.spiceworks.com/it-security/identity-access-management/guest-article/how-can-ai-powered-solutions-enhance-identity-security/
8 https://elevatesecurity.com/ai-in-cybersecurity-trends-for-2024-infographic/

Cybersecurity-as-a-Service (CSaaS) May Be the Best Protection

Although AI is an increasingly critical aspect of cybersecurity, it is only one piece of a constantly evolving puzzle. As we point out in other articles, staying ahead of the game can be too much for many internal teams to manage, particularly if they have responsibilities beyond network security. That’s why CSaaS—where a group of experts acts as a single-source cybersecurity solution—works so well for many organizations. 

If you’re concerned about cybersecurity, explore our managed cybersecurity solutions. Our team of dedicated engineers can protect your organization while you concentrate on what you do best.