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ML and Cybersecurity

Erica Sunarjo discusses her perspective on how machine learning is influencing cybersecurity and how businesses can benefit from it.

2 mins readJuly 26, 2021

“Since cybersecurity threats are not only handled by a number of trained specialists, it is important to keep things simple and accessible to a point.”

It is hard to imagine an efficient implementation of any cybersecurity solution without the use and the benefits of machine learning. It is safe to claim that machine learning will not really function without proper analysis of all the underlying data involved. Speaking of the reasons why machine learning is important for cybersecurity systems, one can mention an analysis of the various patterns that help to prevent specific attacks and respond to even the slightest behavior changes.

The flexible nature of machine learning also helps cybersecurity specialists and automated systems to take a more proactive approach regarding the prevention of the threats when responding to active threats and cyber attacks in real-time. When the attack takes place, the most crucial point is to reduce the amount of time that is usually allocated to routine tasks. It is exactly what machine learning allows by adjusting and accommodating available resources and existing strategies.

Simplicity Matters

Since cybersecurity threats are not only handled by a number of trained specialists, it is important to keep things simple and accessible to a point. It is exactly where machine learning truly shines by making cybersecurity more proactive and even less expensive than ever before. Of course, it can only become possible if all the underlying data provides us with a complete image of the security environment. This particular approach is well-suitable for small businesses or organizations where data analysis is performed manually. In simple terms, it will always be based on what you start with. All the mistakes and the flaws will always come to the surface as the attack takes place. It also means that only correct machine learning will be efficient since it is always a harm set and harm get.

How Exactly Can Machine Learning Shape Cybersecurity?

It all comes down to focus on various data patterns that machine learning helps to develop. The next crucial step is the manipulation of every pattern with the help of algorithms. Without a doubt, before you even start with the pattern development, you must seek large chunks of data from every sector where your data must be represented. It is a strategic approach that helps to identify potential outcomes in various scenarios. Therefore, it is not about the quantity but about the quality of the data that you provide.

Your data must be complete, relevant, and well-structured to provide analytical information from every potential source that represents a data income dealing with ML automation. It is equal for the endpoint, the basic network topology, or the cloud storage system like those used in healthcare or retail sectors. The only aspect that must be noted is keeping your data clean or accurate for machine learning purposes because it is what helps you to capture (create) the right security profile that can capture (catch) all the definite outcomes.

The Vulnerability Aspect of Machine Learning Algorithms

Since we all are relying on AI-powered technologies and machine learning, we are forced to use ML algorithms that extract sensitive and valuable data to process it even further. From one side we have automation of all the routine tasks and optimization of available resources, yet we also have to face all the generalization issues when dealing with spam malware, and network intrusion cases. As a matter of fact, machine learning algorithms can be abused because of their existing vulnerabilities. It happens because of incorrect configuration, which acts as the weakest link that allows an intruder to attack and exploit the system's infrastructure.

It must be noted that your machine learning strategy must be unique and should not be copied from any source because doing so only increases the risks. It is recommended to start with your personal security profile that is unknown to the attacker. It works just the same way as it would be with plagiarism in college when a college professor can easily identify the paper by seeing familiar patterns, using tools like TrustMyPaper. Machine learning works the same way where keeping things unique plays a major role in terms of shaping one’s safety.

Data Breach & Times of Leisure

Since the ML vulnerabilities have already been mentioned, one should also think about the list of issues that people can eliminate by being careful about their beloved spots for taking a coffee break or enjoying that delicious lunch. The risks include accessing public Wi-Fi in that location for accessing a particular website and sharing personal data. If one connects the corporate access with that hotspot, it places an additional security breach where ML algorithms can become helpful. The reason for that is tracking and developing paths and routines of every external access point that employees may have where certain locations can be added to lists that are checked manually. The ML algorithms can alert security specialists or your company's engineers about the necessity of the manual check. Such an approach will help to create an additional security shell that will both implement correct ML methods and shape your cybersecurity in the right direction.

Summing things up, it is safe to say that even though machine learning helps to shape cybersecurity, it will not replace the necessity of human cybersecurity experts. The ML only learns by the input and cannot make any educated guesses or anything of that matter. Machine learning should be approached as a tool that simplifies cybersecurity challenges by letting machines provide automation and an additional security level.

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