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Cybersecurity is continuously evolving to address fresh threats and to protect emerging technology. Just a decade ago, a robust virus protection software and decent physical security was enough to protect most businesses. Unfortunately, cyber criminals have evolved and adapted alongside technology. They create new threats and discover new weaknesses every year.

These new threats can come in a variety of forms, from exploiting employees through social engineering, breaching a system through a poor or faulty password and even using a BYOD or IoT connected device to access a network. Once in, the hacker can wreak havoc on the network, sometimes even locking the owner out of their own files until a ransom is paid.

The evolving nature of threats coupled with the rise of sophisticated ransomware and phishing techniques means that brands need to be more aware of network security than ever before. Large enterprises may have the resources for round-the-clock IT and security coverage, but most smaller businesses do not. Even those that can afford full-time IT still have to spend some time each day without coverage—no one works around the clock every day and no one can catch every error. No human can, anyway.

“It should be noted that although many firms are implementing AI as a combat to Cybersecurity threats, as with any new technology, people who understand networks and how to keep them secure will be in high demand,” said Angela Scipio, Post University’s Program Chair of Computer Information Systems (CIS).

Artificial Intelligence for Network Security

Incorporating artificial intelligence into a cybersecurity program can help address the growing and changing threats the typical organization faces. If you have a network, if your employees can access your data via phones or tablets and if you store private data like identity details, payment information and even medical records, incorporating AI into your security plan is a must.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Long a staple of sci-fi storytelling, Artificial Intelligence, or AI, can be adapted to serve a variety of purposes ranging from marketing to security. AI allows a computer robot to collect and analyze data in seconds; this allows for the rapid detection of threats and for real-time decision making. For the typical brand, incorporating AI into a robust cyber security program can enhance protections and prevent business interruption. While a human user needs time to notice, read, manually analyze and decide what to do with each individual piece of data, AI can incorporate multiple data and inputs at once—and reach a decision in record time.

Incorporating AI Benefits Businesses in 3 Important Ways

AI Prevents Unauthorized Access

According to a recent piece in Forbes, AI can act as a gatekeeper for your network, identifying and preventing unauthorized access before a hacker can do harm. By comparing requests for access against previous approved safe users, AI can detect intruders. From typical logins with a password to biometrics using finger scans, AI can swiftly analyze potential users and allow only authorized individuals to access your network. While a human employee could do the same work, they would have to research each entity requesting access one at a time—then analyze data and make a decision. This would create a backlog of people waiting for approval, long access times and frustrate both customers and employees. AI can seamlessly predict threats and prevent them from accessing your network at all, simply by always being on guard.

AI Never Sleeps

Even your most dedicated employees have to go home sometime. When you opt for AI as part of your cyber security planning, you have a dedicated employee on the job 24/7. AI does not need breaks or downtime, won’t take a nap when you need it most and is ready to spot threats, whether they come in at 3 a.m. or in the middle of the workday. Since cyber criminals don’t work regular hours (and often choose to attack when security is lowest, in the evening), AI can make a huge difference in your ability to turn away threats.

AI Offers Consistency

A bad day, a flat tire or even an office argument can cause your human employees to have an off day or to be distracted. Even good things, like an office birthday celebration, holiday party or great water cooler discussion can distract your employees and allow a hacker the chance to slip by. AI doesn’t have a bad day or a great one; you’ll simply experience consistent, ongoing protection every day of the year.

Incorporating AI into security plans is particularly ideal for smaller brands; an AI watchdog can make a smaller organization less appealing to a hacker and reduce the likelihood of business interruption. Learning more about AI integration into cyber security can help protect a business and save an organization both time and money.

“Regarding Artificial Intelligence, in order to understand how it works, students have to learn programming languages. Every student in our CIS Program must take a programming language and if AI is your interest, taking more advanced courses in Data Structures, which focuses on building sound algorithms, is advised,” said Scipio.

If you like to problem solve, and are an inquisitive person, then Post’s Computer Information Systems (CIS) program with a concentration in Cybersecurity could be the program for you. The CIS Program provides a fundamental understanding of how to protect and manage networks, including data with our courses in Network Security and Enterprise Risk Management.