As it stands, cyberattacks are consistently changing and becoming more sophisticated. Some of these include ransomware attacks, insider threats, advanced persistent threats (APTs), and supply chain attacks. However, all of these leave a trail of data. Machine learning can prove useful as a tool that can analyze a colossal amount of data, identify patterns within that data, develop accurate predictions, and aid in decision-making. Below is a breakdown.
Detection of Unknown and Evolving Threats
With data from known cyber threats, patterns, features, and behaviors associated with said threats, machine learning can leverage it all and adapt to new attack techniques. This aspect makes it effective in detecting previously camouflaged dangers.
Normal or standard behavior can be used as a reference by machine learning algorithms then to identify abnormal, intrusive, or malicious activities. This can be useful to identify new attack vectors, zero-day vulnerabilities, or insider threats that may not correspond to known patterns of attacks.
Traditionally, data needs to be collected and analyzed as a sum of many things. This time-consuming practice can be very costly for companies and end-users alike. However, with machine learning, various institutions can analyze data streams in real-time, leading to the timely detection of suspicious activities. Additionally, machine learning can be utilized to automate the classification and prioritization of alerts to help improve security.
Scalability and Efficiency
So many aspects of our modern activities and routines live in a digital scape, which means, in turn, an immense amount of data like network traffic, logs, and security events becomes available. Machine learning can be leveraged to process and analyze the data at scale, making it a more viable and effective option than manual analysis. In short, it can handle the three Vs of big data (volume, velocity, and variety), enabling industries to make quick and accurate insights.
Preparation can frequently be the saving grace for a multitude of companies; in this realm of security, machine learning can be a vital tool. This technology can identify trends and predict future threats by analyzing big data and, more importantly, historical data. Ultimately assisting security teams in implementing the proper preventative measures.
Improved Efficiency of Security Operations
Routine tasks can be automated to allow cybersecurity professionals to focus on more complex and strategic activities. This is achieved by automating functions like threat hunting, log analysis, and incident response. As a result, efficiency and effectiveness can improve significantly within security operations.
Machine Learning, since it's a subset of Artificial Intelligence, is made up of algorithms that enable systems to learn from datasets to make predictions and draw conclusions. This process requires significant computational power and expertise, which can be achieved through on-site equipment or cloud computing platforms and a team of expert software developers. Additionally, with the capability to be integrated into various established systems through an API, whether you look at healthcare, finance, or agriculture, machine learning can be the behind-the-scenes tool we've been waiting for.
Securing a Digital Future
Aside from the obvious efficiency and security buffs, consistency will also see improvements from the implementation of this technology. False positives can be lessened, alert fatigue can be avoided, evolving threats can be adapted to, and malware can be detected earlier and more efficiently. Security operations, especially now, are more fundamental and connected than we often realize. Cyber threats and hacker groups have become more frequent and sophisticated over the years, and with various fundamental infrastructures depending on technological advances, cybersecurity needs to be tighter.
With notable cyberattacks demonstrating the need for a different approach, machine learning illustrates its usefulness and viability. Thanks to technological advancements and professionals, the ability to monitor, analyze, and determine the right course of action has never been more attainable.