The growing impact of artificial intelligence on cybersecurity
In less than 12 months, AI has evolved from a technology that only IT professionals understand to a tool used by everyone from schoolchildren to writers, programmers and artists.
Developments in artificial intelligence are also having a major impact when it comes to cybersecurity. AI-powered tools help security teams by quickly identifying threats such as zero-day malware, advanced persistent threats (APTs), less malware attacks, and hacking attempts.
Recent advances in computing power and cloud processing are also helping to make AI-powered security tools more accessible. It no longer requires large numbers of sophisticated servers to operate, as was the case just a few years ago.
Increased integration of artificial intelligence
Increasing numbers of organizations are integrating AI tools with existing security measures such as antivirus protection, data loss prevention, fraud detection, identity and access management, and intrusion detection.
Artificial intelligence is able to analyze the large amounts of data generated by these tools much more quickly than a team of humans can. This is because artificial intelligence excels at tasks such as:
- a statement: AI tools can detect attacks more quickly and accurately than humans. The tools create fewer false positives and can prioritize responses based on real-world risks without the need for human intervention.
- analysis: The tools can search through large amounts of data and alert security teams of incidents that require additional attention. This means that teams are in a much better position to quickly respond to an attack and limit its impact.
- Investigation: AI tools can also be used to continually investigate security defenses protecting critical assets to identify vulnerabilities before hackers can take advantage of them.
Having this intelligence capability gives security teams a significant advantage in preventing future attacks and responding quickly if they occur.
The impact of artificial intelligence on the cost of cyber attacks
Interestingly, according to IBM’s 2023 Cost of a Data Breach report, AI and automation have the greatest impact on how quickly breaches are identified and contained by security teams. According to the report, those organizations that made extensive use of both AI and automation experienced a data breach lifecycle that was 108 days shorter than those that did not.
According to the same report, organizations that widely use AI and security automation tools showed the highest relative cost savings, with the average cost of a data breach reaching $3.60 million. This is $1.76 million less and a difference of 39.3% compared to those who did not use such tools.
Save time and salaries
However, we must remember that the economic impact of cybersecurity incidents does not end with the costs of the incident. According to recent research by Morgan Stanley Research, the average security analyst spends 20% to 40% of their time on tasks that can be automated. This includes reporting, alert summarization, patch management, and log monitoring and analysis.
The company estimates that the global cyber workforce currently includes approximately 4.7 million professionals, and the average global salary is US$80,000, meaning average global cyber employee spending is approximately US$374 billion. Assuming 30% of this workflow can be automated, approximately $112 billion in costs could be saved annually.
The role of managed services
While AI-enabled tools can provide significant benefits to organizations and their security teams, they still require human experts to deploy and manage them. In many cases, this is a challenge as the IT industry still suffers from a significant shortage of qualified and experienced candidates.
The challenge actually represents a significant and growing opportunity for managed service providers (MSPs) who can leverage automation and artificial intelligence to help them deliver effective cybersecurity services.
Cybersecurity remains a complex and ever-changing field. For this reason, it may make business sense for an organization to outsource its cybersecurity requirements to a suitable management services provider that leverages artificial intelligence and automation to deliver the most effective protection measures possible.
AI will continue to evolve and support security teams in new ways. By harnessing it in-house or utilizing the services of a qualified MSP, organizations can ensure they have the best preventive measures possible.
(Tags for translation) Data Protection