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Artificial Intelligence In The Cyber Domain

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By: james8

October 14, 2016

artificial-intelligence-openWhile it’s true that there is a growing need to fill the cyber workforce with human talent, artificial intelligence will play a vital role in the future. This notion often reminds me of the movie the Matrix where a cyber intelligence is self-aware. However, this is a highly exaggerated and fictional scenario.Automating what can be done with incident response is not science fiction.  However, it is becoming more of a reality. So where does this lead? Even highly technical personnel in software engineering and all things cyber-related must be cognizant of the changes taking place around them and be able to adapt. The skills needed to perform certain job functions will become more technical while some less so. Code will be developed with security in mind, but also rely more on automation. Sound too far-fetched that things will be more automated? Don't be so sure.I remember reading an article back in April about MIT making some amazing advances in cyber security. In particular, MIT was able to develop an artificial intelligence system that detected 85% of cyber-attacks. Not bad for a first go around, wouldn’t you say? And that was only earlier this year. I have included a link to the original article here: It also includes a video demonstration on how this stuff works.If MIT was able to do this with 85% accuracy, imagine two or three years from now. It then begs the question: What will happen to the human side of cyber-security? Does this now put all of us involved in cyber-security in some kind of jeopardy? To some extent yes. However, there will continue to be a need to have some humans involved with monitoring and maintaining systems.Fast forward a few months, and there are some other interesting advances being made with artificial intelligence in regards to cyber-security. I won’t list all the details here, but I’m sure you can find them yourself searching google.So some final thoughts. If you’ve read the book Where Wizards Stay Up Late, Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon mention Licklider’s interesting view about the role of machines. In his paper, J. C. R. Licklider notes about the symbiotic relationship between man and machine. It’s an interesting paper and I recommend you read it. Machines essentially are not a threat to man’s existence so long as we keep them in check. In reality, there continues to be little evidence of artificial intelligence really overtaking us like in the Terminator scenario. Cyber-security therefore will involve both man and machine working side by side. It is crucial that we have systems that can automate our cyber defenses and offenses, especially given the threats we face around the world. Let’s face it, the bad hackers are winning. With AI on our side however, this changes things drastically.Further reading for those interested:
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