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Artificial intelligence in cyber security: pros and cons

With hackers' attacks growing ever more sophisticated, it may feel like a losing battle for some users or companies. However, artificial intelligence (AI) might be able to help. It uses smart algorithms to strengthen your defenses. Let’s see what connects AI and cybersecurity and how they can protect you.

Paul Black

Paul Black

Jan 24, 2020 · 2 min read

Artificial intelligence in cyber security: pros and cons

What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is intelligence exhibited by machines or other non-living entities, or the creation of cognitive functions in an artificial mechanism. AI can be employed in a wide range of areas ranging from robotics to economics – to cybersecurity.

Machine learning

Machine learning is the ability of a computer to identify patterns in data and to use those patterns to perform tasks and solve problems. Such a system learns from its algorithms and develops the ability to make predictions or decisions that haven't been programmed.

Due to the ability to rapidly process large amounts of data, cybersecurity systems with integrated machine learning can help predict and prevent attacks more accurately.

AI in cyber security

Cybersecurity experts can apply AI in several ways, but there are also unique challenges.


The uses

  • AI can identify the device owner’s behavior patterns via machine learning. If it notices something unusual, it may suspect that someone else is using the machine and prevent it (however, this can also be used as a tracking method);
  • Machine learning capabilities and large databases can also help to detect threats and vulnerabilities way more efficiently. AI can monitor patterns in web traffic and alert the user or admin if it notices something suspicious. Machine learning can also help to accumulate extensive database for more precise pattern identification;
  • AI surpasses human monitoring capabilities in terms of quality and quantity. It eliminates the human error factor, an operate 24/7, and can process massive amounts of data in a short amount of time. It’ll take lots of work off experts’ hands and enable them to concentrate on other tasks;
  • AI can eliminate the need to use passwords and the dangers of them being snatched. Biometric identification systems use AI to identify the legitimate owner using facial recognition, fingerprint, or other similar techniques. For example, they can memorize even the tiniest details of your facial patterns. Thus, your device may identify you even with facial hair or headwear.
  • The challenges

  • AI can also be used by hackers for malicious purposes and to initiate even more sophisticated and large-scale attacks. AI also can help to identify and exploit vulnerabilities more quickly and efficiently;
  • AI-powered biometric recognition can be a threat as well. Advanced scanning techniques can provide very detailed data on your appearance to third-parties. They can also be used for surveillance, tracking and other breaches of our privacy. Authoritarian countries and regimes might use these techniques to monitor their adversaries;
  • The cost of hiring a team of experts to implement AI solutions is currently quite high. Also, some of these technologies are still in their experimental stages, so relying on them is risky;
  • AI has enabled more data gathering and processing than ever before, enabling third-party entities to have even more data on us. It may introduce more privacy and security issues than it solves.
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