Even though millions of personal records and credit card numbers stolen by cybercriminals every year, people are more willing than ever to share their information online. In fact, 70% of consumers would share more data if there were a benefit in it for them — such as easier online banking or faster delivery services to their front door.
The amount of private data shared online is vast, and it’s creating a problem for cybersecurity experts. With so much data shared across so many platforms, how can organizations keep consumers safe from malicious hackers?
Artificial intelligence just might be the answer.
How Cybersecurity Experts Are Using AI and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the world as we know it. From facial recognition technology to AI-powered cancer detection, the strength, speed and affordability of AI stand to make our world a better place. Not only can AI remove the error and costs that come with human labor, it can also analyze millions of data points at incredible speeds.
For cybersecurity experts, AI and machine learning help organizations protect the many moving parts of their systems, from end-point devices to cloud infrastructure to omnichannel points of sale. In fact, 61% of organizations say they wouldn’t be able to identify cyberthreats without the power of AI. Not only does AI allow cybersecurity experts to analyze vast amounts of data, it also allows them to predict cybersecurity threats.
The secret weapon: machine learning. Rather than simply organizing data, machine learning actually learns from it and adapts. Based on the information it receives, machine-learning AI develops algorithms that detect anomalies and unusual activity that may point to a breach — and then develops a solution to decrease vulnerability. Whereas traditional technology relies on past data, machine learning uses data to improvise and take preventative measures.
One example of this is AI-powered behavioral analytics. Cybersecurity experts can use machine learning to analyze approved users’ behaviors, from their typing and scrolling patterns to log-in times. When the machine-learning AI detects unusual activity, it blocks suspicious users and raises a red flag for IT to investigate.
Hackers Love AI, Too
Unfortunately, cybersecurity experts aren’t the only ones turning to AI for its incredible power. The same features that make AI attractive to tech security also appeal to hackers.
Take AI-powered phishing attacks for example. Thanks to AI, hackers no longer need to spend hours upon hours authoring and sending malicious messages to the inboxes of unsuspecting victims. They can now use AI to perform large-scale phishing schemes in record time, using machine learning to continually improve their fraudulent messages.
And now, AI-powered deepfake technology is taking phishing to the next level. Deepfakes are created using AI that uses real voice or video recordings to create fake videos and audio that are indistinguishable from the real thing.
While many fear that deepfakes will be used to replicate public figures and spread disinformation in the near future, this notorious technology is already being used for less glamorous, but equally nefarious purposes. Last year, Symantec issued a warning that sophisticated cybercriminals were using deepfake audio to trick employees into giving up valuable information. Because it’s powered by AI, deepfake audio is much easier to generate than you might think, making it an inexpensive and easy tool for hackers to target unsuspecting victims.
The Great Cybersecurity Arms Race
It’s a tale as old as time (or as least as old as tech): hackers and organizations are in an ever-evolving arms race, with AI as the central weapon. Who will win?
It all depends on who’s working harder and smarter. For organizations, defending against an AI-powered threat requires a defense-in-depth security strategy, including everything from regular employee training to high-tech machine-learning security solutions.
Make Encryption Part of Your Defense-in-Depth Strategy
The best way to ensure that cyber thieves can’t get their hands on your data is by preventing clear-text data from ever entering your system. With a combination of tokenization and point-to-point encryption (P2PE), you can ensure that sensitive information is masked with tokens and encrypted at the point of sale.
At Bluefin, we specialize in PCI-validated P2PE, tokenization and other integrated solutions to protect your data from cybercriminals. If you’re looking to boost your defense-in-depth strategy and want to learn more more about our security products, contact us today.