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What Machine Learning Can Bring To Cybersecurity Posted on : Oct 01 - 2021

Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) have made inroads into enterprises for a variety of different uses, including decision support, product recommendations and process control. These fields are employing big-data concepts to train software algorithms to evaluate data and respond in a similar manner to human decision-makers.

These systems are boosted by data collected in the problem domain and used to successively adjust the algorithms to model that domain. For example, a retailer might use detailed data on sales experiences to recommend additional products for shoppers to purchase. By correlating purchases made by past customers, the retailer may be able to entice shoppers to make larger purchases than they had originally intended.

Increasingly, AI/ML systems are being employed in imaginative ways to provide intelligence to enterprise IT security systems. IT development and operations tend to produce large amounts of data, especially if all logging systems are engaged. Network and security systems can log and store data on users, systems and network activities at a very detailed level.

Learning To Recognize Potential Threats

How do AI/ML applications for cybersecurity make use of this data? Start with an ML model. This model incorporates a set of mathematical algorithms that manipulates the input data in successive layers. At the output layer, the result is a determination that a particular activity or activities represent a threat. The ML model “learns” based on matching input data with known output results and adjusting the algorithms with each subsequent pass through the data to better predict the correct output.

It’s not really learning in the human sense; instead, we’re adapting a generic model to more accurately produce correct results for given inputs. It’s more of a curve-fitting exercise for complex combinations of data. But by training using ML models with data applied to layers of algorithms, these ML systems can analyze large amounts of data in real time while mimicking the decision-making processes of trained professionals. View More