Could AI be the future of network security?

Wednesday, 02 June, 2021

Could AI be the future of network security?

Australia’s threat landscape is evolving and increasing in complexity. Continued digital innovation, technological developments and the introduction of 5G, coupled with the challenges of remote working practices and a growing cybersecurity skills gap, have collectively exacerbated the challenges faced by CISOs in terms of protecting their companies’ digital assets.

When assessing their cybersecurity posture, CISOs should consider how to leverage new technology to best protect their infrastructure. While significant developments in the artificial intelligence (AI) space make it a strategic investment, it can be difficult for CISOs to determine which AI-based solution is suitable for their organisation.

Corne Mare, Chief Information Security Officer at Fortinet, noted that continued investment in digital innovation is one of the key factors in maintaining an advantage over competitors. Mare added that it’s not enough to incorporate AI-driven solutions into a security strategy; CISOs must also assess the company behind the solution and ensure it has the appropriate knowledge, skills and resources to operationalise it.

“Adequate access to actionable threat intelligence is equally critical. It’s easy for technology companies to promote their AI solutions and claim they are AI-driven. CISOs should only engage companies that can strongly back up these claims and demonstrate proven experience to provide the best defence and strategy for their organisation,” said Mare.

AI-driven solutions may not be enough to secure an organisational environment; enhancing them with machine learning, augmented intelligence and analytics capabilities can help CISOs create a stronger cybersecurity ecosystem for their organisation.

“As technological advancements see AI-driven solutions increase in their capabilities and complexities, so too do the capabilities of cybercriminals. To reinforce a robust cybersecurity ecosystem, CISOs must develop strategic, proactive cybersecurity approaches that leverage AI-driven solutions to act on threat intelligence. Integrating other smart, digital solutions will help to deliver timely, accurate information that organisations can use to help prepare and protect their assets,” said Mare.

Alongside leveraging solutions like augmented intelligence, analytics and machine learning, CISOs should consider resourcing their IT and security teams with the right people to strengthen their security strategy. CISOs can also leverage their AI-driven solutions to close the cybersecurity skills gap and mitigate resourcing challenges.

Mare noted that while developing a robust cybersecurity pasture for an organisation requires investing in a variety of technologies, IT employees can often be stretched thin in organisations, trying to manage a large volume of digital solutions alongside their daily responsibilities.

“However, CISOs can improve efficiencies and strengthen their security operations by leveraging AI solutions and tools, particularly those with built-in automation and integration, to alleviate the pressure on IT teams without reducing the effectiveness of the security strategy,” said Mare.

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