Cybersecurity Insight

Artificial Intelligence Assists in Cyber Security Defense

27 Apr

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory unveiled its latest creation – AI^2 (read: AI squared), a machine that will hopefully be a powerful addition to those in the cyber security industry.

The reason this particular artificial intelligence is so significant has to do with its strengths – namely, AI^2 is able to read tens of millions of log lines each day. When a suspicious event arises, a human analyst is prompted to investigate the situation further. For example, AI^2 may notice an increase in login attempts, prompting the analyst to investigate and discover a brute-force attack in the works. Not only does the assistance of artificial intelligence result in an 86% success rate, but it makes a cybersecurity analyst’s job that much more simple and effective.

How did the team conjure up that 86%? An unnamed commerce site, acting as the MIT team’s guinea pig, allowed AI^2 to comb through over three months worth of data, totaling to 3.6 Billion log lines total (around 40 Million per day). The obscene amount of data combined with AI^2’s learning capability resulted in four out of every six or so legitimate, malicious events being discovered by the machine alone.

For being in its initial phases, 86% is a strong showing but the team at MIT is confident further testing will exhibit higher success rates. AI^2 was built to continuously learn and mold itself to new situations; when it presents the original set of questionable actions, the analyst responds to the actionable threats. AI^2 not only internalizes which events are responded to by the analyst, but also which are not, so the next time around it delivers fewer questionable actions and more that are actual threatening.

So, how is it possible that artificial intelligence won’t take over this sector of the market? In solo-machine tests, the success rate was a measly 7.9%. And while no one knows exactly when artificial intelligence will play the main role on the cyber security defense stage, for the time being MIT has created a tool that protects an organization’s cyber security with the dual assistance of both man and machine.