Securing the Future: How Conquest Cyber Uses AI to Defend Against Cyber Threats

by | Nov 7, 2023 | Insights, Security Awareness & Training

As artificial intelligence continues to evolve, more and more companies are getting over their initial skepticism and beginning to embrace its usefulness. Recent statistics show that the vast majority of leading companies (91.5%) are already investing in AI to automate certain selected processes, enabling an increase in productivity while keeping human error to a minimum.

While AI has only entered the mainstream this year, cybersecurity firms have been using versions of this technology for a very long time. And indeed, so have hackers — which has created an ongoing conflict as each side attempts to outwit the other using the latest AI tools.

Recent innovations in generative pretrained transformer (GPT) technology have given our adversaries a powerful new method for stepping up the sophistication of their attacks. The most effective way of fighting back and defending against future cyber threats is by harnessing AI, and doing so in partnership with a knowledgeable cybersecurity provider like Conquest Cyber.

Right now, cybercriminals are turning to AI to boost the potency of techniques they’ve been using for a long time, such as phishing. We’ve probably all been targeted by phishing attacks, where we receive an email or text purportedly from our bank or an online business. It’s not usually too difficult to identify these scam messages, which might contain obvious typos or come from a suspicious-looking address.

But with the latest large-language AI models, those red flags have become much more subtle. AI can already be used to write natural-sounding copy in languages other than a cyberattacker’s native language, and as deepfake technology becomes more advanced, images and videos will allow cyberattackers to present a much more plausible image of legitimacy. And, often, that’s all it takes to get one person at an organization to type in their login information without thinking, providing cyberattackers the opening they need.

Hackers are also using AI to evade detection within breached systems and create malware that constantly mutates, making it more challenging to combat. We are only on the tip of the iceberg of what AI will eventually be capable of as it continues to evolve — making it essential for cybersecurity defenses to keep pace.

To harness AI most effectively, organizations must first establish clear policies for employees regarding proper usage, while also providing education on potential risks, such as falling out of compliance with industry-specific regulatory requirements.

Once organizations have put these foundational safeguards in place, we recommend The NIST Cybersecurity Framework, a set of guidelines provided by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, as a logical way to begin integrating AI into a broader cybersecurity strategy.

The framework outlines five pillars, or functions, of effective cybersecurity programs. Examining them individually, each has areas in which incorporating AI technology can be advantageous:

Identify: AI can help categorize organizational assets and monitor risks, using adaptive capabilities to stay abreast of new types of threats.

Protect: AI safeguards critical infrastructure by identifying vulnerabilities in an organization’s current protective technology and auto-generating reports, allowing for proactive action.

Detect: AI models excel in the early detection of attacks, identifying subtle changes in activity that could be early evidence of a malicious party. They’re particularly good at recognizing phishing attempts through the analysis of emails, attachments and URLs.

Respond: After detecting a threat, AI-enabled systems are able to take action immediately and independently, minimizing the dwell time of attackers and reducing breach costs.

Recover: Post-breach, AI can aid in the forensic work of restoring organizational capabilities and services.

In the ongoing race between hackers and cyber defenders, AI is poised to become the driving force on both sides. Instead of shying away from AI’s potential, organizations should embrace AI tools as a vital component of their cybersecurity strategies, working in partnership with cybersecurity providers like Conquest Cyber.

At Conquest, we incorporate our cutting-edge technological solutions into a wider strategy that prioritizes asset protection and adopts actionable responses to realistic threats. By thinking proactively and deliberately, we work constantly to outwit and outflank our adversaries on the digital field of battle.

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