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Is AI Superficial When It Comes To Using It For Cybersecurity Purposes?

Businesses use AI to improve their security while hackers are using it to launch even more sophisticated attacks

By TechRadar Pro

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Data is central to today’s digital economy and it has intrinsic value to businesses and consumers. However, organisations worldwide are facing severe challenges when it comes to protecting data from cybercrime and data leakage.

Technology can of course provide many solutions to help protect data from leakage. Yet, some technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) can also arm cybercriminals with new ways to expand upon malicious attacks.

To better understand whether AI is a help or a hindrance to cybersecurity, TechRadar Pro sat down with Ensighten’s Chief Revenue Officer, Ian Woolley.


Businesses must take notice and realise that cybercrime is becoming increasingly common especially given more consumers are using online channels to transact and share data.

As a result, there have been plenty of cybersecurity incidents that have leaked businesses’ data – both its own and of its customers. Microsoft Office 365 is just one example with some of its users’ accounts being compromised by hackers – exposing personal content from emails as part of a data breach. Although the number of users affected has not been disclosed, Microsoft confirmed that around 6% of those involved would have had their emails hacked. It’s clear cybercriminals find value in any type of data for monetary return. For example, Facebook logins are sold for just $5.20 (£4.09) each on the dark web.

It’s clear that data breaches need to be prevented for various reasons – such as avoiding financial or reputational implications. IBM found the global average cost of a data breach is £3 million, and estimated that a breach of 50 million records or more can cost a company as much as £273 million.

Yet, despite many businesses best efforts towards security, it’s a tough playing field. Attackers are trading knowledge in underground marketplaces – allowing them to specialise in particular aspects of cybercrime such as stealing security credentials or hacking into accounts. Cybercriminals are highly knowledgeable of how to surpass security protocols.

What’s even more dangerous is the fact they are mirroring the way businesses work. Cybercriminals are identifying where to spend their time and effort based on the return-on-investment. For instance, if businesses only focus security on one channel, such as phones, criminals will turn their attention to pursue internet platforms, such as company websites. We’re seeing this behaviour in the banking and finance sector. Some attackers are turning away from internet and telephone banking to turn their attention towards mobile banking fraud. According to RSA, 60% percent of digital banking fraud now originates from the mobile channel.


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