MGM. Zoom. Marriott. Twitter. Magellan. What do they all have in common? If you’ve been paying attention to cybersecurity news this past year, then you already know. All of them have experienced truly staggering data breaches in 2020.
Hackers have learned to deploy every technology and trick up their sleeves to steal data, cause disruption, and exploit the billions of people out there just trying to use the internet.
Fortunately, the last few years have seen the rise of new technologies that finally give us an effective way of fighting back against hackers.
Just as innovators have made considerable strides in the advancement and deployment of artificial intelligence and machine learning in various areas, so too have these technologies entered the world of cybersecurity.
Here’s how they are changing the game and making the internet a safer place for us all.
AI and Machine Learning: A Quick Refresher
Let’s contextualize these two important and closely linked technologies.
AI or artificial intelligence refers to a broad swath of tools that simulate human intelligence aspects such as learning and natural language processing. Put simply, AI is what can make computers and other devices smart, allowing them to think and solve problems.
Machine learning is a component of artificial intelligence. Machine learning (ML) includes the use of algorithms and analysis to make assessments about the event. The device can then adjust its actions and even perform activities it may not have been programmed to do.
The result has been a significant windfall for cybersecurity.
The Different Uses of AI and ML
Machine learning and AI-powered software and tools can comb through millions of files instantaneously to detect hazardous ones and remove them before they cause any harm.
Microsoft’s Windows Defender can now do just that. Using multiple layers of ML, it can identify and block threats before hackers can even land an attack on your device.
Another example is Chronicle, a cybersecurity company from Alphabet (a.k.a. Google). They created Backstory, which analyzes staggering amounts of security data and uses machine learning to develop insights for security technicians to act and respond to accordingly.
Fighting Human Error
Human error refers to many activities that cause data breaches, malware downloads, and other issues.
Let’s face it—we all make mistakes. Maybe you clicked on a file you shouldn’t have. Or perhaps somebody pretended to be a known contact only to be a hacker in disguise. AI and machine learning are increasingly being used in proactive roles to prevent the damage that human error can do.
Blackberry’s AI project is a great example of this. Shifting away from handsets and into cybersecurity. Blackberry’s technology can actively prevent cybersecurity threats and automates response capabilities to create a much larger protective shield.
AI and Machine Learning Aren’t Enough
As impressive as the advancements in AI and machine learning technologies have been, it’s still ultimately up to end-users to guarantee their safety. If you’ve been reading this thinking, “well, can’t hackers use AI too,” then you’re absolutely right.
Hackers deploy these technologies to serve their own purposes in what we can only assume will be an ever-growing arms race of the good guys versus the bad.
As impressive as Window Defenders’ enhancements have been, there’s much more you can do on your own to prevent the risk of cyber-attack:
For one, you need a VPN. A VPN or virtual private network is an essential tool for increasing your privacy and security in the digital world. It works by creating encrypted tunnels that safeguard your online traffic from hackers and other privacy threats. Take advantage of VPN free trials to find a secure VPN that you can use not only on your desktop computer but across all your devices.
Furthermore, don’t let these new technologies lull you into a false sense of security. You have to be vigilant. Keep a sharp eye out for phishing and other social engineering scams.
Likewise, you must secure your accounts with complex, lengthy, and unique passwords alongside security tools like.