By Jaydeep Saha, Contributing Writer, HCL Technologies Ltd.
In July, an Acumen Research and Consulting report highlighted that the global AI-based security products’ market reached $14.9 billion in 2021 and is predicted to grow to $133.8 billion by 2030.
Increasingly, organizations are turning to AI to bolster their cybersecurity defenses.
Here are some examples of how government departments, like homeland security, the police department, and coast guard are using AI in their cybersecurity measures to detect cyberattacks.
Avatar is a system developed by the United States’ Department of Homeland Security to screen people’s body gestures and facial expressions. To find variations and flaws in facial expressions and body language that may raise suspicion, it uses AI and big data through a screen that has a virtual face and asks questions. Besides monitoring changes in the answers and differences in voice tone of a person, the collected data then gets compared in real-time to elements that indicate if the person is lying.
Since 1995, the New York police department has been using the Computer Statistics (CompStat) system. While it depends on a variety of software tools, CompStat is an early form of AI that includes organizational management and philosophy. CompStat was among the first tools used for ‘predictive policing’ and ever since, it has been used by many police stations across the US to investigate crimes.
The California-based Armorway — an AI-based crime analysis tool that uses AI and game theory to predict terrorist threats — is used by the Coast Guard in Los Angeles, Boston, and New York for port security.
However, hackers are also adopting AI and machine learning (ML) techniques to improve the scale and variety of their cyberattacks.
According to Malwarebytes, there has been an increase in cybercriminals using AI and ML to hide behind an organization’s infrastructure before attacking. Some of the new attack methods include creating deepfake data, building better malware, stealth attacks, AI-supported password-guessing, weaponizing AI frameworks for hacking vulnerable hosts and ML-enabled penetration testing tools.
“From ransomware and supply chain attacks to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), cybercrime has become more organized and more sophisticated. Cyber-attacks can be absolutely devastating to governments and enterprises which is why we are seeing more investment in our advanced threat detection and defense capabilities this year,” said David Sajoto, Regional Vice President of Asia Pacific and Japan, Vectra AI. The security vendor has reportedly been offering free cybersecurity tools and services to organizations that fear they will become targets of the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
Zero Trust: another crucial part of a holistic cybersecurity strategy
With the rise in the AI threat and other cybersecurity weaknesses, Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) has also experienced similar growth to AI-based security products. According to Gartner, at least, 70 percent of new remote access deployments will be served mainly by ZTNA instead of VPN services by 2025 — up from less than 10 percent in 2021.
In the age of Zero Trust, providing access only to segmented networks and enforcing least privilege access is key to securing environments. A zero-trust strategy treats everyone as an outsider.
HCL Technologies’ Fortius cybersecurity consulting has Forrester Research certified zero-trust strategists who help end user organizations better understand this approach, identify gaps in existing security posture and provide industry-best practices.