Artificial Intelligence vs Machine Learning in Cybersecurity

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are the next-gen technology used in various fields. With the rise in online threats, it has become essential to include these technologies in cybersecurity. In this post, we will know what roles do AI and ML play in cybersecurity.

By Peter Baltazar, Technical Writer at MalwareFox


Modern-day technical advancements are rapidly changing the world. Twenty years back, the internet was nothing as compared to today. Like the internet, the next big thing which is supposed to revolutionize the world is Artificial Intelligence (AI).

When you hear Artificial Intelligence, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably the intelligent robot that can make its own decision based on the situation. In actuality, AI has a lot more applications than just creating a robot. Although sci-fi movies and the creepy Facebook AI incident have made a negative image of artificial intelligence in the general people’s minds, in reality, AI has many more positive uses than adverse ones, only if used judicially.

Another term that is usually used side by side with AI is Machine Learning (ML). Many people use the term AI and ML as a synonym, which is factually incorrect, even though both these terms are closely related to each other. While AI is a concept to design an intelligent system that can replicate human intelligence and make its own decisions, ML is actually a subset of AI that helps machines learn from the data to improve and amplify their decision-making.

AI and ML have tons of applications in various fields like the Medical Industry, Finance, Gaming, Data Security, Social networks, and more. One of the fields in which they can be used progressively is Cybersecurity.

Let us know how Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can contribute to making cybersecurity strong.


What are the challenges faced in Cybersecurity?

With the advancement in security technology, cyber attackers are developing new techniques to breach the tight security of the organization and attack their systems with malicious codes and programs. The threats such as ransomware, spyware, social engineering attacks, trojans, etc., are continuously growing and making the internet a spooky place for the general user.

The regular changes in the method of cyberattacks are making it challenging for cybersecurity experts to deal with them. On top of that, user’s reluctance to regularly update their devices is worsening the case. In recent times, the evolution of AI and Machine Learning has aided cybercriminals too. These technologies are illicitly used to find out the system vulnerabilities and quickly plan a suitable attack. Using machine learning, cyber attackers are able to find the high-value target from the database of thousands and millions.


How Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can benefit Cybersecurity?

When it comes to cybersecurity, AI and ML can be highly beneficial in dealing with modern threats. Many security programs providers already use these modern technologies in their threat detecting engines to make cybersecurity more automated and human-risk-free. You will find many areas in cybersecurity that can utilize the power of AI and ML for more efficacy. The basic principle of AI technology is data grouping, categorization, processing, filtering, and managing. The security apps like antivirus and antimalware use almost the same rule.

Here is how Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can benefit cybersecurity:

  1. Machine Learning can be used for analyzing the previous data set of threats and develop a pattern. Using that pattern, the Artificial Intelligent system can efficiently catch the upcoming dangers and block their entrance into the system.
  2. By analyzing the pattern of previous security breaches, the AI can help in stopping any such future threats. You can get a detailed insight into the potential problems and be prepared for any such happenings in advance.
  3. ML and AI can be used to forecast any possible attack by preparing a predictive analysis on a previous data set.
  4. Using ML and AI, organizations can create a fast and efficient mechanism to protect influential data without affecting system performance. This will help cybersecurity experts to cut the unnecessary expenditure on getting upgraded hardware.
  5. The AI and ML can also be used for accurately detecting the system vulnerabilities so that the cyber attackers could not exploit them and use them to their advantage.
  6. AI can help you upgrade your security measures by detecting where they lack in and thereby enhancing cyber threat resilience.
  7. The latest cyber threats like Zero-day attacks, DDoS attacks, and other similar advanced attacks cannot be prevented by the traditional security program. For them, you require modern security solutions known as Next-Generation Antivirus (NGAV). NGAV is a security program based on machine learning and artificial intelligence that can pre-detect any potential threat and notify users about it.
  8. Most traditional and current security programs take a lot of time to scan and detect the threats in the system. The modern NGAV can scan a vast amount of data set quickly and effectively.


What are the challenges to use ML and AI in Cybersecurity?

Using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies for cybersecurity has many advantages, but implementing them is challenging as they require good infrastructure and prerequisites. Following are a few challenges that cybersecurity experts face in employing ML and AI:

  1. For showing an accurate result, the combination of machine learning and artificial intelligence requires a massive chunk of past data. The more, the better. The ML will feed that data, analyze it, and develop an efficient solution for current and future problems. Accumulating such data is a big challenge.
  2. Machine Learning can be time-consuming at the initial phase. The attackers could take advantage of this and steal the essential information.
  3. The organizations might have to change their current infrastructure in order to accumulate the ML and AI in their working system. This may lead to heavy expenses, which many small organizations might not afford.
  4. AI and ML are still in their early stages in the cybersecurity field. So, currently, you cannot depend entirely on just them for the critical aspect such as security.


Summing Up

Though AI and ML are used in various fields today, only the tip of the iceberg is touched, and there is still a lot to explore in these technologies. In the cybersecurity field, such advanced technologies are needs of the hour, as the cybercriminals are always a foot ahead of the security experts. The implementation of artificial intelligence would hopefully help in predicting the strategies of infiltrators and reduce the attacks.

Bio: Peter Baltazar is a tech enthusiast geeking out on new technological trends. He works as a cybersecurity consultant and writer at You can find him cooking up an MCU theory when he is not writing walkthroughs for beginners in the computer field. Find him on Quora and LinkedIn.