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Artificial Intelligence Technology in Cybersecurity 

Posted August 29th, 2023 | Written by Dean Maloney, Business Intelligence Manager, GreyCastle Security

AI technology has come so far and is becoming a popular asset for business operations worldwide. Currently, the cybersecurity landscape has virtually adapted to force companies to implement artificial intelligence to scale their security operations to stay up-to-speed with cyber criminals. While AI offers real benefits today, it requires continued analysis and human expertise to understand its impact and limitations on cybersecurity, and GreyCastle Security has the information you need to stay fully informed.

The Current State of Cybersecurity 

Cybersecurity continues to be a concern and a priority for organizations and governments worldwide. The global cybersecurity market is expected to grow at an 11% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
The reality is that businesses are being asked to do more with less.

      • The frequency of attacks will remain high, if not increase 
      • The skills shortage is increasing 
      • Insurers are asking for organizations to do more 
      • Federal and state regulators are auditing more 
      • Adversaries are deploying AI-based attacks 
      • Rising costs and economic uncertainty lead to budget-conscious decisions rather than security-conscious decisions 

In response to this unprecedented challenge, Artificial Intelligence (AI) based tools for cybersecurity have grown in popularity and demand to help support information security teams establish cyber readiness.
AI will advance the state of cybersecurity; however, organizations must be thoughtful and intentional when incorporating AI to maximize its effectiveness.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

According to the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the capability of a device to perform functions usually associated with human intelligence, such as reasoning, learning, and self-improvement.

“Artificial Intelligence” was coined in the 1950s. However, within the past 20 years, AI has shifted from a technology disruptor to a business disruptor. AI was first introduced into our everyday life in the 2000’s and most recently became a business disruptor with the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in 2022.

Artificial Intelligence vs. ChatGPT

AI and ChatGPT are NOT synonymous. ChatGPT is a very specific example on how AI can be operationalized.
Below is the roll-down from AI to ChatGPT:

      • Machine Learning (ML) – A form of AI using data patterns to imitate the way humans learn 
      • Generative AI (GAI) – A form of ML that can generate new content such as text, images, video, code, etc. 
      • Large Language Model (LLM) – A type of GAI that creates new combinations of text through being pre-trained on large quantities of text 
      • GPT – A version of LLM, created by the company OpenAI in 2018 
      • ChatGPT – A chatbot, running on GPT-4, that has been trained to interact with humans in a conversational way 

Artificial Intelligence Current Cybersecurity Uses 

Artificial Intelligence is currently prevalent within all five functions of NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework (CSF): 


Data Classification & Asset Inventory

    • Data/Asset Discovery
    • Data/Asset Assessment 
    • Data/Asset Classification 
    • Data/Asset Ownership Assignment 

Risk Analysis 

    • Risk Identification 
    • Risk Scoring 
    • Risk Prioritization 
    • Control Effectiveness 

Threat Intelligence  

    • Collection
    • Analysis
    • Real-Time Alerting 


Access Control 

    • Intelligent Authentication 
    • Authorization Capabilities 

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) 

    • Identify Sensitive Data 
    • Enforce Data Protection Policies 

Intrusion Detection & Prevention Systems 

    • Analyze Network Traffic 
    • Analyze System Logs 


Continuous Monitoring 

    • Process Large Volumes of Data 
    • Identify Patterns and Indicators of Compromise 
    • Identify Potential Vulnerabilities 

Email Security 

    • Identify Spam 
    • Identify Malicious URLs 

Behavioral Analytics 

    • Baselining Normal Behavior 
    • User Behavior Anomaly Detection 
    • Detecting Unauthorized Access Attempts 

Threat Hunting and Detection 

    • Search for Indicators of Compromise 
    • Isolate Threats by User, Devices, or Location 


Incident Triage 

    • Determining Severity  
    • Measuring Impact 

Incident Response 

    • Streamline IR Processes 
    • Evidence Gathering 
    • Containment 

Forensic Investigation 

    • Forensic Data Collection 
    • Determine the Extent of Compromise 
    • Reconstruct Timeline of Events 


Data Backups  

    • Automate Data Backups 
    • Remediate Hardware Faults 
    • Restore Clean Backups 

Automated Remediation 

    • Restore Assets and Systems 
    • Rolling Back Compromised Configurations 
    • Apply Security Patches 

Incident Response Lessons Learned 

    • Analyze Incident Date 
    • Extract Valuable Insights 
    • Identify Areas of Improvement 

Uses of Artificial Intelligence  for Cyber Criminals

Just as AI can be used by security practitioners, it is also being used by state-sponsored attackers and organized cyber-criminals.   In addition to everything else organizations need to protect against, organizations will need to protect themselves against the following new attack types:

‘Next-Generation’ Social Engineering 

      • Bad spelling and grammar are the most prominent and recognizable indicators of compromise in phishing emails and have virtually disappeared  
      • Adversaries leveraging Deepfake (fake audio and/or video) to trick victims 

Custom Malware 

      • Adversaries are using GAI to create “custom malware” intended to mutate continuously and bypass detection 

Data Manipulation 

      • Manipulating/poisoning training data to influence the decision-making processes of AI systems 

Artificial Intelligence Limitations 

It’s important to realize that even though AI comes with apparent benefits, it also currently has notable limitations, such as:

Reliance on Big Data: If you want AI technology to be able to detect, predict and respond, you must train it with tons of data via a machine learning model. For big organizations, this might not be a problem. What about the average small business who’s just trying to protect its network from intrusion? 

Reliance on High Quality Data: Artificial Intelligence without high-quality data is just artificial. 

Creating the Infrastructure is Expensive: The technology requires specialized hardware, software, and skilled professionals. For example, analysts estimate that it cost OpenAI relatively $5 million to create GPT-3, their large language model. 

Cybersecurity Skills Gap: AI-powered security systems require skilled professionals who can develop, implement, and manage the technology. There is currently a shortage of professionals with the necessary skills and experience to work with AI to accomplish this successfully.  

Third-Party Data Exposure: If you choose to outsource AI capabilities to a third-party vendor, then it expands the risk of your data being used for the wrong purposes or landing in the wrong hands.  

Vulnerable AI Systems: Just like any other software or system, AI systems can be vulnerable to hacking. For example, adversaries can manipulate these systems in order to alter their behavior to serve a malicious end goal. 

The Path Forward with Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity 

AI will advance the state of cybersecurity; however, organizations must be thoughtful and intentional  
when incorporating AI to maximize its effectiveness.  

GreyCastle Security recommends: 

      • Have a clear understanding of your data, assets, and risks before implementing AI technology. 
      • Make an informed decision guided around reducing your organization’s risk 

 AI should not be treated differently than any other software or cloud-based application that you’re currently using. Think of other cyber defense capabilities…do we just TRUST that they work, or do we actually VERIFY that they are working?  

 Talk to a Cybersecurity Expert 

If you have any questions about Artificial Intelligence and its role in cybersecurity, you can talk to one of our cybersecurity experts to provide guidance and consultation on how to use AI safely and securely.   



Let’s Discuss Your Cybersecurity Needs

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