The Reach of Artificial Intelligence in the Fight Against Cybercrime, CIO News, ET CIO

Long before the pandemic, cybercrime was a significant concern, and with the onset of the pandemic, cyber fraud skyrocketed as the world became more digital. Given the rapid increase in the number of cyber frauds, it is important to think about what can be done to make the Internet safer in the post-pandemic world. The vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit have increased with the shift of employees to remote work, the rapid adoption of new technologies, and due to the weakening of monitoring and controls. Each of these pandemic-induced changes has made individuals and businesses more vulnerable to cyber fraud.

The reason cybercrime remains a serious problem and why significant resources must be devoted to its protection is that cybercriminals have the same degree of technical sophistication as their counterparts who work in cybersecurity. Today, cybersecurity professionals and cybercriminals have similar skills, both use the same technologies. Cybersecurity professionals use them to prevent cyberattacks while cybercriminals use them to carry out cyberattacks.

Additionally, the challenge posed by cybercriminals is amplified by the lack of cybersecurity professionals. The world needs 3 million more cybersecurity workers, with the APAC region needing 2.05 million of these workers according to ISC2 – Cybersecurity-Workforce-Study-2020.

Technology can help fill this shortage and combat cybercrime. Effective use of new age technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and blockchain can help prevent cyber fraud and make ecosystems safe and secure for individuals and businesses .

The scope of artificial intelligence in the fight against cybercrime is vast. One of the many ways AI can prevent cybercrime is through stronger two-factor authentication – which uses parameters that confirm users’ identities based on something the user knows, is, or possesses. AI can add additional layers of information and authentication on top of two-factor authentication. For example, deep learning can be used to analyze data such as logs, real-time communications, or transactions to detect unwanted activity or threats.

Blockchain technology is one of the most powerful tools in the hands of cybersecurity experts. Based on the fundamental principles of the peer-to-peer network, all data in a blockchain is verified by each member of the blockchain. Therefore, a blockchain creates an almost impenetrable network; one that is nearly impossible for hackers to exploit.

Finally, organizations that adopt the zero trust model will reduce their exposure to cybercrime. Zero-trust – as the name suggests – is a cybersecurity model based on the premise that a network is already compromised. In India, the importance of the zero-trust model has recently come to the fore, as highlighted by a recent Cisco survey. The survey highlighted that a significant number of professionals consider their cybersecurity infrastructure to be unreliable and complex. To make it more secure, nine out of ten respondents said their organization is investing in a zero-trust strategy.

However, even with these tools and systems, no single organization or government can win the war against cybercrime. Knowledge and awareness are key to creating a safe and secure cyberspace. Thus, government and industry must come together to raise awareness about cybercrimes. It is essential to organize frequent training sessions so that people understand potential vulnerabilities and the importance of cybersecurity and insider threats.

Today, even the best cyber defense systems are susceptible to penetration. That’s why organizations that have a well-rehearsed plan in place in the event of an attack have the most effective defense. The fight between cybersecurity professionals and cybercriminals has come to a head during the pandemic. While the greater resources of cybersecurity professionals give them an edge, the threat posed by the other party is nonetheless formidable – especially when backed by a state.

In the post-pandemic world where employees are shifting to a hybrid work model or continuing to work from home, and where IT infrastructure is becoming more distributed, cybersecurity teams will need to innovate to keep cybercrime at bay. As businesses recover from COVID-19, they need to think about which cyber controls to keep, which old controls to remove, and look for opportunities to innovate and update how cyber fraud and compliance activities work. . The integration of cybercrime and fraud processes, in both consumer and business environments, will be an essential part of a “new reality” strategy and will help form an effective approach to the long-term management of cybercrime and financial crime, insider threats and fraud.

The author is Joy Sekhri, Vice President, Cyber ​​& Intelligence Solutions, South Asia, Mastercard

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