Today, all businesses, whether large or small, handle large amounts of sensitive data. Protecting this information is critical to avoid damages related to its theft. Cybersecurity software may not be enough to protect corporate assets. You need intelligence that can learn quickly to respond to increasingly complex threats. And here’s how AI coupled with cybersecurity creates that ideal combination for protecting enterprise data.
Step 1: Understand the value of corporate data
Every day in the office, we handle an enormous amount of data, and the choice to protect some information and share others is not as simple as you may think. When you have a precious object in your hands, its value is obvious. However, there are some items that, even if they don’t shine, are still valuable and can make us vulnerable. In these cases, if we do not immediately understand their value, we risk losing them. We may equip ourselves later with a safe or pay more attention to what we are doing, but we will never get back what has been taken from us.
In our private lives, we rarely lose something that impacts our entire family in the way that corporate data can. A data spill or malware intrusion can create damage that affects all company assets.
Our data has significant economic value, even if it’s just our first name, last name, and email. Not to mention how desirable the information of a multinational corporation or an organization that deals with sensitive and secret topics are. Or worse, data related to production or intellectual property. Large companies are already protecting themselves, while small and medium-sized businesses are more vulnerable. Often small business owners think they don’t need to invest in IT security because they don’t handle confidential data on a daily basis. It’s a serious mistake. Customer data, which all businesses have, is already information that needs to be protected.
Example: Google’s data protection
The big giants even feel the need to tell you how much attention they pay to Cybersecurity. Google is a leading company that draws its lifeblood from data. When a user creates a business account on Workplace in the data security section, it says:
Google and its business services share the same infrastructure, so your organization will benefit from the same protections we have created and use every day.
How can Google provide such security? By becoming the owner of the networking infrastructure. Only big players can make such large investments, but the benefit is huge in terms of data security and service continuity. Leaning on a third-party company means, instead, not having the complete management of data in the cloud and, above all being subject to their permissions.
Cybercrime: what are the possible threats?
Cybercrime includes all those illegal activities that take place through the network. The objective of a hacker is the appropriation of personal and/or business data or the damaging of systems for financial gain or extortion.
The cyberattack is not always apparent. Rarely is the purpose of a criminal attacking a corporate network to destroy the system. Most of the time, the aim is to enter silently, copy data, and demand a ransom, not publicly release it (Data Leakage). Or, perform a commissioned action, and then the payoff is to hand over the data to a third party.
How can business owners defend themselves? First of all, with a standard Cybersecurity software that provides basic protection. The next step could be to associate an Artificial Intelligence software that, thanks to the automatic training, would allow the personalization of the Cybersecurity measures according to the business needs.
In this regard, I recommend reading “Cyber Security: the opportunity the risks of digitalization”, in which the advantages and business risks of connecting devices to the network are analyzed.
Artificial Intelligence offers valuable support to Cybersecurity to address threats in real-time and predict attacks through risk modeling. But when does it become indispensable? Click To Tweet
How Artificial Intelligence improves Cybersecurity?
The IT security in the company guarantees the protection of the network, data, applications but also protects the performance of delicate operations. For this reason, the team managed by the CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) includes various professional figures: analysts, designers, cryptographers, each specialized in a specific aspect of monitoring. Software, used by experts, is used to analyze threats, monitor access, and manage systems.
However, one crucial piece is missing. In fact, while hackers are constantly changing the types of cyberattacks, updates to cybersecurity software are not as fast. What’s needed, then, is intelligence that quickly learns and trains Cybersecurity systems to analyze and monitor new threats.
Here’s where Artificial Intelligence and specifically Machine Learning, comes in. How?
- By scanning all devices and IT assets on the network. AI allows for the scanning of thousands of pieces of data very quickly.
- By updating systems to respond to new threats. AI learns automatically through identification patterns loaded into Deep Learning networks.
- Constantly monitoring Cyber Security activities. AI monitors the entire Information Security process, including the part that affects the team and the software used.
- Analyzing probable threats. AI can predict, based on the multitude of data it explores, what the future attacks might be.
- Responding quickly. A Disaster Recovery action following an attack will be significantly faster thanks to the combination of Information Security and Artificial Intelligence.
When does Artificial Intelligence become indispensable?
Enterprises, where sensitive data is the core business, have realized that relying only on Cyber Security software and security analysts is insufficient.
The professionalism of analysts on big data is put to the test by their being human. It can happen that a distraction allows access. When, on the other hand, resources employ their knowledge to create training models for machine learning, the probability of error will be greatly reduced.
According to research conducted by Capgemini, companies use Artificial Intelligence more or less intensively depending on the target set to deal with the cyber attack.
Here are 3 possible actions to prevent a cyber attack:
- First: anticipate the risk of attack. For proper prevention, I need to scan my data constantly. Artificial Intelligence gives me the ability to create a pattern, a model containing the data that identifies a threat. Now, thanks to machine learning, I can train the system to recognize and identify any anomalies before a possible attack. The software, in fact, constantly scans the data, and in this way, it is possible to stop the intrusion in the bud.
- During: discover the threat. Also, in this case, the ace up the sleeve of Artificial Intelligence is linked to learning and the possibility of modifying the parameters of detection of the attack. The scan that will follow the change highlights the threat. The problem with action at this stage is that the damage may have already generated serious consequences. With AI, it has been found that a good percentage of attacks occur via mobile data storage devices such as optical media, USB sticks, and laptops.
- Next: fighting the intrusion. At this stage, the tools present in Computer Security software could be more effective, and AI would only speed up the fight by creating patterns with which to train machines not yet affected but on the same system.
“Prevention is always better than cure”: this phrase is even more valid when talking about corporate, confidential, or sensitive data. However, not all companies can afford significant investments such as those required for artificial intelligence and cybersecurity software. What to do then? It is better to proceed step by step, starting with the basic protections guaranteed by standard IT security software and then increasing protection in parallel with company growth.