How AI Will Determine The Future Of Malware

Internet security company SiteLock's 2022 Security Report has been released and its findings are ominous: "High-severity malware" increased 86 percent from last year.

High-severity threats are those that can lead to stolen data, loss of customer trust, and damage to reputation and brand. And, unfortunately, these threats often involve nothing more than an unwary user visiting a website or clicking on a link contained in a search result. Search results for a legitimate website will often list similarly sounding sites which contain malware, which when visited, could lead to unexpected downloads and injection of malware into the system.

However, there is a potential game-changer in the fight against malware. By using big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to identify emerging patterns and new risks in real-time, studies show AI-powered malware detection methods "provide significant advantages," in terms of accuracy, speed, and scalability. SafeDNS, for example, uses "continuous machine learning and user behavior analysis" to achieve 98 percent precision in detecting malware.

SafeDNS's AI technology, for example, uses a large "database of malware," and data is the key to AI. The more data it collects, the more accurate the AI analytic models become. AI then constantly analyzes this data to look for new patterns of behavior that could indicate a threat. Once AI predicts that a website is hosting malware, the user is warned and redirected away from the malicious site. This happens in real-time, so the user never sees the dangerous content. However, this approach only protects the user but does not stop the website from hosting the malware. According to SiteLock's report, 92 percent of known infected websites are not blacklisted by search engines, remaining a trap for the next unwary, less protected victim. "Dangerous malware is up 86%: Here's how AI can help" www.reportdoor.com. (Apr. 24, 2022).

Commentary

While AI is being used to detect malware, criminals are also using AI to make malware more effective.

Industry observers found that attackers are automating the process of launching phishing attacks and other malware, allowing them to scale up operations and launch more attacks more quickly.

On the other hand, AI is also being used by security experts to automatically detect and block these attacks. The side that fails to use AI effectively will lose the race.

A good cyber defense plan is the crucial first step for your organization. Just as cybercriminals quickly change their tactics and evolve their attacks, so should your defenses.

Leadership can develop a clear plan of defense and allocate adequate resources to develop, train, and maintain cyber security. Investment in cyber defense infrastructure and active threat hunting should become priorities.

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