Cybersecurity has become one of the focal points of modern companies. In a world where the value of data is growing each day, data breaches can be devastating and something that a lot of companies never recover from. A data breach could not only financially affect a company but also the trust and relationship it has with clients and customers.
The increasing number of terrifying news about ransomware syndicates like GandCrab, which claims to have amassed more than$2 billion in data ransom fees from companies and individuals within an 18 months, are now a common occurrence. So is the devastating epidemic of data breaches that have targeted the healthcare industry, with 25% of all data breaches recorded in 2018.
Criminals who get a hold of personal and business data as a result of data breaches can use such information in many ways to benefit their bottom line. Take your social security number as an example. It is the most common form of identity theft, where cybercriminals use your SSN to obtain the rest of your personal information.
Your personal information can be used to apply for loans and credit cards in your name, steal funds from your accounts, and even steal your tax refund.The potential financial loss is not the only consequence of stolen personal data. Most of the victims find it difficult to get their lives back on track, as their identity has been flagged as stolen and therefore might be restricted from using some services until the problem is solved.
Cybersecurity companies have seen the enormous potential in the development of AI as a promising tool for fending off data breaches and other cybersecurity threats. Although the technology is still in its infancy, a variety of applications of AI and machine learning have been found in the cybersecurity arena.
The Puzzle of Cybersecurity
Technology has overtaken both our personal and professional lives. It enables our productivity to skyrocket and creates fantastic opportunities to grow our business or improve ourselves. However, that has also come at the cost of exposing our personal and business data to a variety of potential threats that come from the online world.
In 2018 alone, more than 6,500 security breaches were recorded where more than five billion sensitive records were exposed. It means that there are, on average, 18 breaches every single day. The average cost of a major data breach in 2018 was $3.8 million for companies and around $140 per each exposed confidential record.
The British Airways data breach exposed the personal information of more than 500,000 customersdue to inadequate data security. With the introduction of GDPR, British Airways is now facing a potential £183 million fine.
How Can AI Help?
The recent progress in the field of AI has created new potential applications of this technology. While still far away from the ability to replicate human cognition, AI technology has reached the point where it can process information much quicker and at a larger scale than humans.
AI can help companies and individuals protect their networks by facilitating a more secure login process, such as biometric login, and better manage user permissions while they use the network. Creating a more intricate and complex user management system makes it more difficult for cybercriminals to cause damage.
At the same time, AI can continuously scan the network for potential security threats, alert administrators if any of the files on the network are compromised, and reveal bugs that can be exploited by intruders. Think of it as the guardian angel of your network.
With the use of machine learning algorithms, AI can be trained to identify potential security risks and perform the necessary tasks to eliminate them before the actual security breach happens. If files become damaged or corrupted, AI could quarantine and repair them without the need for human assistance.
This kind of real-time protection that also includes advanced machine learning techniques could help AI-based security systems to develop quickly and deal with new cyber threats. It is of utmost importance that new security solutions offer a quick response to threatsto minimize the damage caused by the attack.
In 2019 alone, the AI-based cybersecurity market reached around $9 billion. As the AI technology and its applications progress, this number is expected to skyrocket to $38 billion by 2026.
Right now, thousands of tech companies are counting on AI to bridge the gap between new security threats by cybercriminals and the amount of time it takes for cybersecurity companies to respond to them.
How Can We Protect Ourselves?
It is important to note that the emergence of new technologies and their applications in the cybersecurity arena will not suddenly solve all our security problems. With new technologies comes the adoption of new tools that cybercriminals use as a means to develop more advanced hacking tools. We should expect that AI will soon become the weapon of choice used by cybercriminals as well.
As we anxiously wait for new cybersecurity tools to make our lives easier, it is important to note that there are still things that we should pay attention to when using our devices to go online:
- Make sure that your passwords and login methods are secure. Focus on creating strong passwords that are not linked to your personal information, and avoid reusing passwords on different platforms at all costs.
- Make sure that your devices have the latest version of antivirus and security software and that your networks are secured with tools in place to protect against breaches.
- Regularly back up your data and do it only on secure devices. Cloud backup storage is a great way to store your data and have access from anywhere. A large number of companies offer different services and products in this niche, so feel free to explore this type of solution.
- Avoid using your personal information when not connected to a secure network. Public Wi-Fi might be convenient, but it is a huge security risk when it comes to sensitive data. Unless your device is equipped with the top-of-the-line security system, it might be better to avoid using personal information when using public networks.
- Always have an action plan in case your network and data have been breached. In a critical situation, it is crucial to react quickly and have a clearly outlined plan that will minimize your data and financial losses.
Staying on top of the game when it comes to cyber threats is one of the main priorities that most companies will focus on in the future. The emergence of new technologies such as AI creates a better toolbox for fighting cybercrime and protecting the privacy of customers and clients.Some companies have already incorporated the technology in their security solutions (like Astra), and the results are promising.
Although the threat of cybercrime will never be eliminated, a safer future for the companies and individuals might be around the corner.
The Bottom Line
We hope that this short overview has helped you get up to speed on the latest developments in the cybersecurity arena. Now, it is time for you to share your experiences with cyberattacks and offer your tips on how to avoid them in the future.