How AI & Machine Learning Can Help With Government Cyber Security Strategies

Data breaches and network security threats ironically are prevalent stories these days of the so-called “Information Age”. The amount of data we produce every day is truly mind-boggling. There are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day at our current pace.

As we progress digitally, the data is becoming vulnerable to network threats like Phishing, Ransomware, Cloud-Based Attacks & IoT-Based Attacks etc.

The infographic below shows the growth of cyberattacks.

growth of cyberattacks
Source: Carbon Black

The most targeted industries for cyberattacks are Healthcare, Manufacturing, Financial Services, Government Agencies and Education. Out of these Government Agencies are facing significant challenges in securing confidential data and blueprints from hackers. These difficulties lead to threats to the security of a nation.
Some of the major attacks on the data of national importance and security are as follows:

  • Cyberterrorism: the disruptive use of information technology by terrorist groups to further their ideological or political agenda.
  • Cyberwarfare: penetrate another nation’s networks to cause damage or disruption.
  • Cyberespionage: the practice of using information technology to obtain secret information (strategic, economic, political or military) without permission from its owners or holders.

The graph given below shows the increase of cyberattacks worldwide, with significant offenders and victims countries to these attacks.

increase of cyberattacks worldwideSource: CSIS Technology Policy Program

How to secure the data from such “cyberattacks”? OR What measures should government security agencies take to proof its data against attacks?

It’s hard for humans alone to shield the humongous amounts of data out there. Hence Artificial Intelligence solutions are sought after for building protective walls to keep out any possible data and network attacks due
to the following reasons:
1. Administer huge volumes of security data: AI can scan through big data in minutes that humans take months to evaluate and list problems and anomalies immediately.
2. Reducing detection and response time: AI can speed up detection, alerting, optimizing and sourcing of security data.
3. Picking out threat needles in cyber haystacks: AI can rapidly analyze situations and behaviours to spot the threat needles that correspond to malicious activity.

Role of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning in Cybersecurity

Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning can provide various platforms/ applications to help security agencies fight cyberattacks powerfully. Some of these are as follows:

  • Spam Filter Applications
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Network Intrusion Detection and Prevention
  • Botnet Detection
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Secure User Authentication
  • Cybersecurity Ratings
  • Hacking Incident Forecasting

The AI and machine learning capabilities can quickly identify and stop the highly-targeted, custom-made malware created by the attackers. The machine learning capability enables agencies to identify and prevent the execution of all types of malicious content, including malware related to the implementation of advanced persistence mechanisms, BIOS malware, master boot record (MBR) malware, hypervisor malware, and malware capable of injecting into memory at any time.

Some of the “AI and ML” Adopters in Cyber-security helping government agencies:

GMAIL: The Google Gmail mailing platform uses supervision machine learning to segregate the emails into spam and non-spams and helping customers from malicious emails.
IBM: The company launches its WATSON cognitive learning platform which for threat detection and cybersecurity purposes.
Balbix: is a platform that uses AI-powered risk predictions to prevent security threats in real-time.

Conclusion

Both AI and machine learning technologies are all about learning the user behaviour patterns, typical signals, the potential deviations and the vulnerabilities. By detecting this data, an intelligent cybersecurity system can proactively destroy a threat in its early stage or can safeguard the system from any potential data breaches or intrusions. Thus, as mentioned above, artificial intelligence and machine learning can enhance cyber-security in multiple ways and provides an instant, robust, and proactive response to cyber threats in real-time.

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