Content Assessment: Automating Incident Response? Considering Artificial Intelligence in Cyberspace
Information - 92%
Insight - 93%
Relevance - 91%
Objectivity - 94%
Authority - 95%
A short percentage-based assessment of the qualitative benefit of the research report from the NATO CCDCOE on the topic of incident response automation.
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Background Note: Shared for the non-commercial educational benefit of cybersecurity, information governance, and eDiscovery professionals, this recently published research report from the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) explores the use of artificial intelligence for incident response.
Paper from CCDCOE*
Automated/Autonomous Incident Response
Vasileios Anastopoulos, PhD and Davide Giovannelli, LL. M.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has existed for a long time in a way that seems to affect every aspect of our lives in a modern society, but it is only recently that its applications have been made known to the public. AI is already present in many fields including education, agriculture, health and medicine, manufacturing and transportation.
Cyberspace as ‘a global domain within the information environment consisting of the interdependent network of information systems infrastructures including the Internet, telecommunications networks, computer systems, and embedded processors and controllers’, is omnipresent within everyday activities, but its use for malicious acts has also risen the need for cybersecurity, ‘the ability to protect or defend the use of cyberspace from cyberattacks’. AI applications are already present in cyberspace, used both by the attackers and the defenders. It could render cyber attacks more successful, leveraging, for example, its ability to replicate natural language and thus making phishing emails more successful, or developing autonomous cyber weapons that could attack and self-replicate. It could also help defenders in detecting anomalies and quickly addressing vulnerabilities and misconfiguration. Currently, there is a controversy about the impact of AI in cyberspace, with one study warning that it could drive to more aggressive and destabilizing engagements between nations, while another states that attackers will be less likely to employ AI due to its constraints, flaws and limitations unless they see unique benefits. What is clear, though, is that ‘while the discussion regarding autonomy in the physical world is largely about systems that are not quite yet in operation, in the cyber-world, autonomy is already a reality’.
According to recent surveys, when an incident response is led by humans it is no longer possible to keep up with the speed, scale and sophistication of automated cyber attacks. The need for more sophisticated technologies is emerging with defenders turning their efforts to guarding against AI-powered attacks and by enabling AI defenses. Every day more and more security teams rely on AI to stop threats from escalating even at the early stages of a compromise. Organizations employing AI in cyber security report benefits from its application with increased return on investment (ROI) being one of them. The use of AI in incident response enables security teams to identify, investigate and remediate threats a lot faster, while the effort required is also reduced. Reacting in a timely manner is crucial for cyber defense and reducing the human effort required to respond to security events, facilitates the security teams to focus on the cybersecurity aspects they wish to.
Commercial products have already integrated AI technologies to fight against cyber attacks such as spam mail, ransomware and malware. Vendors continue to integrate AI features into their products while new solutions based on AI are on the rise, such as autonomous response to thwart attacks in progress, automation of the investigations process, protection against phishing attacks, endpoint protection and more.
Automated:Autonomous Incident Response - CCDCOE
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