Top AI Trends & Developments That Improve Cybersecurity for Businesses

Believe it or not, the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) dates back to the 1950s, when researchers first began thinking about ways in which machines could simulate human intelligence. With that being said, AI is not a new system. It has been around for decades and has become popular with organizations of all kinds. It is touted to be the technology capable of staying on top of a company and industry-specific trends, all while achieving higher-levels of productivity among employees.

Top AI Trends & Developments That Improve Cybersecurity for Businesses

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What does AI look like today?

Computers use data to learn and then run processes that involve little human intervention. Although AI is not a new concept, it has come a long way, especially in recent years. According to Jin-Whan Jung, Senior Director & Leader, Advanced Analytics Lab at SAS, "the real-time decision making that supports self-driving cars or robotic automation is possible because of the growth of data and computational power." In some cases, AI is replacing human function entirely.

Where is AI headed?

No matter what form AI takes at your business, there are few doubts about how widespread its adoption will soon be. According to data released by the International Data Corporation (IDC), global spending on AI is likely to grow to $120 billion by 2025.

What is the reasoning behind the rapid growth projection?

The IDC claims that AI will play an integral role in the digital transformation of businesses and other organizations. Ritu Jyoti, program vice president, Artificial Intelligence at IDC says, "Companies will adopt AI -- not just because they can, but because they must."

Whether it be a way to improve customer experience, employee efficiency, or both, it is clear that more businesses will transition to implementing a form of AI soon.

A visual look into the future of specific AI trends for business

In a study conducted by Gartner Research, they believe that 44% of AI functions in business will be comprised of augmented intelligence, which they define as:

"A design pattern for a human-centered partnership model of people and artificial intelligence (AI) working together to enhance cognitive performance, including learning, decision making and new experiences."

Image courtesy of Gartner Research

Essentially, augmented intelligence systems try to strike the perfect balance between humans and machines for the ultimate customer experience. They offer an end user the personal touch of dealing with a human, backed by the precision information processed and provided by an AI system. Overall, this system reduces errors, and improves customer convenience.

How can developments in AI improve the cybersecurity model of a business?

As it relates to cybersecurity, AI can help to identify links between threats, such as malicious files, suspicious IP addresses or internal bad actors. Businesses can focus on making money, while AI helps to keep them productive and safe.

It helps to detect unusual activity. Running a business can be demanding. Meetings, helping customers, restocking shelves, and keeping all records up to date are just a few ways that time can disappear when on the job. It also means that keeping an eye on cybersecurity can fall down the list of priorities, or worse, maybe it is not on the list at all.

Enter artificial intelligence. When it comes to cybersecurity, it has your back. In simple terms, anomaly detection is the process whereby AI finds the outliers of a dataset.

According to, anomaly detection can be critical to a business's success:

  • In a matter of seconds, AI can determine the root cause of an issue, eliminating weeks and even months of human analysis
  • AI is active 24/7 and does not get "tired" vs. the average human who works 9-5 with a tendency to grow groggy and sloppy on the job
  • An anomaly that may never have been detected before under human analysis is easily identified by AI; and also scalable to analyze thousands of metrics in real time

It is important to remember that relying on an AI system to pick up on unusual activity means that a business must specify what they consider to be the threshold for such data. Sometimes this can be email addresses with particular domains or unusually high web volumes. It is an important first step and should be discussed with your IT leader or other go-to professional before deployment.

AI can help assess risk. Businesses do not always have the time or know-how to determine what is legitimate and what is not. Wouldn't it be nice if someone or something could filter out most risks faced by a business when it comes to cybersecurity? This is where AI can be helpful.

Using the concept of probability, AI systems can conduct risk assessments against online individuals or other agents to pick out malicious behavior. Besides probability, AI systems can also assign absolute risk scores against online actors to determine their legitimacy.

According to a report developed by Deloitte, there are four areas to configure when setting up your AI system to manage risk.

  1. Identify risks: What does your business consider a risk to its strategy and operations? Be sure to consider internal and external factors.

    Learn more about internal threats by reading this related Giva blog post.

  2. Assess: Develop a risk assessment process. What is your current level of risk exposure? How much can you expect an AI system to help?
  3. Control: Implementing desired controls to manage risk factors set out by a business and/or its IT leaders.
  4. Monitor and report: Regularly monitor AI determined risks to see if it is working properly or if thresholds need to be adjusted. On a regular schedule, be sure to conduct full reports on risks encountered and overall functionality.

Utilize biometrics for more secure login procedures. There is no doubt that password theft and unauthorized device access accounts for plenty of data loss against organizations of all kinds including businesses. Two-step authentication is important, but access granted with biometrics takes things to a new level.

When discussing AI and biometrics, there are two categories to be aware of:

Physical: As the category suggests, this tactic uses distinct physical characteristics to keep accounts and devices secure. It can be almost any part of the human body. Iris analysis, fingerprint scans, and facial recognition are the most common.

Behavioral: Although similar, behavioral characteristics focus on unique patterns that can include voice recognition, typing rhythm, or other device interactions. For example, this tactic can determine a bad actor through error patterns such as mistakenly clicking an "l" instead of a "k" on three out of every five transactions.

Did you know? Apple's iPhone is well known for its facial recognition that allows device access. If a bad actor attempts to unlock the device using your face while you sleep, it won't work!

The Bottom Line: AI has your back

Business can be unpredictable. From sales numbers to the arrival of inventory, things can change day to day and minute to minute. Cybercriminals like to work along with the same mindset. They want to catch their victims by surprise, with little opportunity to react.

A detriment to any cybercriminal's plan is a well-prepared IT team. Anti-virus software and a robust action plan for this type of scenario can limit damage or stop a threat before it even occurs. Businesses, especially small businesses, often employ a small number of staff, none of whom would be dedicated IT professionals. As employees work tirelessly to run the day-to-day operations, AI, with pre-set thresholds, can act as an automatic defense to cyberthreats. It can assess risk, detect unusual activity, and even provide safe device access solutions. Therefore, AI works in the background while you handle the front lines of your business. It is an ideal solution for businesses and other organizations that cannot dedicate staff to work IT regularly.