Popular visions of artificial intelligence often focus on robots and the dystopian future they will create for humanity, but to understand the true impact of AI, its skeptics and detractors should look at the future of cybersecurity. The reason is simple: If we have any hope of winning the war on cybercrime, we have no choice but to rely on AI to supplement our human skills and experience. With the number and sophistication of cybercriminals continuing to grow, the technology industry has started to address this challenge through the use of AI. As with many new technologies, however, the good that AI can do is threatened by the misconceptions and hyperbole that surround it. For this reason, the technology industry must address these popular perceptions, and that starts with redefining AI as what it truly is: augmented intelligence.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is proving to be one of the most influential and game-changing technology advancements in the business world. As more and more enterprises go digital, companies all over the globe are constantly engineering new ways to implement AI-based functions into practically every platform and software tool at their disposal. It should come as no surprise, then, that AI is affecting cybersecurity – but it's affecting it in both positive and negative ways. Cybercrime is a massively lucrative business, and one the greatest threats to every company in the world. Cybersecurity Ventures' Official 2019 Annual Cybercrime Report predicts cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021 – up from $3 trillion in 2015.
All evolution comes with challenges and the dark world of cybercrime continues to thrive and is this year's second most reported economic crime. The recent NHS computer hack using Wanna Decryptor ransomware shut down IT systems with 75,000 attacks in 99 countries. The unprecedented ransomware breach froze computers across the health service with hackers threatening to delete files unless a ransom was paid. The passwords were scrambled with the MD5 algorithm, which nowadays is easy to crack. According to Zdnet.com, the unidentified hacker explained his motives for the attack: "I heard the database was getting traded around so I decided to dump it myself – like I always do". He said it was "mainly just for the challenge and training my pentest skills." He exploited a union-based SQL injection vulnerability in the site's software, a flaw he said was "easy to find."
Enterprise security has always been a cat and mouse game, with cyber adversaries constantly evolving their attack systems to get past defenses. Can AI based systems help in warding off new age threats and zero day attacks. To get a perspective, we spoke with Vikas Arora, IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software Leader, IBM India/South Asia, who shares his view on how AI can impact enterprise security. What are your views on the cyber security landscape in India? Which sectors do you think are the most vulnerable today?