Cybersecurity Companies Increasingly Using AI to Solve ‘Hard Problems’

Technologies based on artificial intelligence (AI) are only just beginning to see widespread use in business systems. A new report from SANS and Cylance, however, found that a majority of respondents are already using or are planning to use cybersecurity solutions that rely on AI.

According to the report, Security Gets Smart with AI, 85 percent of cybersecurity professionals see AI as an enabler and 67 percent feel it will improve rather than replace traditional security tools. But confusion around what AI can effectively do in the space still remains.

“In light of the increasing interest and the lack of clarity, SANS surveyed the information security community in late 2018 to access and characterize perceptions of AI’s capabilities,” the report said. “Recognizing that communication is the basis of better security, we summarize the results in this paper to facilitate communication among developers, providers and users of AI technology in the information security community.”

Among the survey participants, 75 percent identified cyber defense as a top use for AI. Coming at a close second (71 percent) was malware prevention, with 69 percent of respondents seeing threat detection and prevention as a top use for AI.

Despite the plans to use AI technologies, only 35 percent of respondents said they have direct experience with such platforms. So, why are customers looking to AI?

“Up until five or six years ago, cyber defense was a hard problem,” said Bret Lenmark, senior product marketing, Cylance. “For many organizations, it remains so because people are trying to get through so much data, but security teams are searching for more effective ways to make more informed decisions.”

AI is far superior to humans at identifying patterns in data at a speed that the human brain can’t process. These technologies allow businesses to better secure their assets.

In addition, “The price/performance ratio of computing power has continued to decrease, and companies have continued to automate and instrument their operations, continuously accelerating the growth in generation and availability of data (especially machine-generated data),” the report said.

Article Written by Kacy Zurkus | View all articles by Kacy Zurkus