Technology has brought a revolutionary change in almost every field. It has become impossible to survive without internet, smartphones, social media, etc. As we know, the internet is one of the basic needs of mankind. Businesses, manufacturing companies, students, doctors, etc. are utilizing internet technology. The Internet has enhanced almost every industry.
Let us take simple examples. Before a decade, people used to stand in queues to pay electricity bills. Now it can be done on one click through mobiles. People used to travel to foreign lands for meetings. Now it can be done through video calls. Students need not go to the library to read books. Those books can be downloaded anytime and anywhere.
If we start calculating what percent of cost can be saved with the internet, it is difficult to estimate. But with technology benefits, there are some cons. Internet technology has helped us to keep the data in a centralized way. The data can be easily transferred and received using the internet.
Companies store sensitive data on the cloud. Cloud computing and big data are some of the technologies that deal with huge data. The data stored and exchanged on the internet is either a company’s data or client’s data.
Be it a small mobile application or a website, everything requires user data. Users need to feed certain personal information to access a website or app. These details can be a name, contact numbers, email ids, bank details, etc. Companies need to take care of security measures while dealing with customer data. As we mentioned above, there are cons for every technology. The biggest risk and con of internet technology is cyber crimes.
Cybersecurity is a nightmare for all developers. No matter what security measures are taken care of, the hackers get a way to steal the data and access it. Cyber crimes are the criminal activities executed using the internet. Hackers find out vulnerabilities in the website or app and can steal the data.
These hackers either sell the data to fraud companies or ask for a certain amount of money to return the data back to the organization. Some hackers steal the data and access it to spoil the information. Cybersecurity is a challenge for website developers, database professionals, mobile app developers, etc. Especially if you are dealing with IoT (internet of things), cloud computing, machine learning, big data, and artificial intelligence.
Let us see some jaw-dropping stats about cybercrimes:
- The US had 130 large-scale targeted breaches last year. Source: Accenture.
- Ransomware attacks are growing more than 350 percent annually.
- In a research, 42% of companies experienced DDoS attacks in the year 2017. Source: Cisco.
- WannaCry ransomware became so popular in one day! It affected more than 4 lakh machines from 150 countries. The ransomware cost around 4 billion US dollars from the globe. The ransomware encrypted data of systems running on Microsoft Windows operating system and demanded ransom payment in bitcoins cryptocurrency. This was 2017’s biggest cybercrime.
- Cryptojacking attacks increased by 8,500 percent in 2017. Source: Symantec.
- Every day, 24000 malicious mobile apps are blocked. Source: Symantec.
- In healthcare, Fitbit and MyFitnessPal are the two most downloaded mobile apps. Hackers hacked MyFitnessPal app and got access to 150 million user’s data. Source: Under Armour.
- The average cost companies bear due to malware attacks is 2.4 million US dollars. Source Accenture.
- The top targeted industries for cyber attacks are healthcare and finance.
- Spear phishing emails are the most common type of cyber attacks.
- China is the most affected country by cyber attacks.
The biggest medium for hackers is artificial intelligence.
“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” – Stephen Hawking
This statement by Stephen Hawking says it all. Artificial is the biggest example of good and bad in one. There are tremendous pros of AI and a lot of cons too. If machines start thinking on their own, it can create a disaster. But in this article, we are going to discuss what are going to be the effects of AI on cybersecurity.
Artificial intelligence offer personalization to the users. Artificial intelligence stores each and every movement of users. For instance, if a user searches for “best shoes for the party”, he will start seeing shoes related ads everywhere he surfs on the net. AI also tracks emails.
Whatever you have mentioned in the emails, AI starts offering you related items/services through ads and emails. AI is super fast. It is not only fast but also has a great memory. AI has made databases stronger than ever before.
Have you ever got emails from an unknown sender and wondered how did he get your email ID? The hackers can find such information using artificial intelligence. Hackers find data such as user emails and passwords, credit cards, SSNs, etc. Hackers can find the most valuable information and steal it. Artificial intelligence can also help hackers in deciding which information is important.
To attack any system, hackers need to find some issues inside it. Hackers can discover vulnerabilities through payloads. Payloads are the actual information in transmitted data and not automatically generated metadata. Hackers can check for known payloads or generate new payloads.
There are various vulnerability tools which check all the items one by one. These vulnerability tools can generate some unusual behavior and create new issues in the system. Artificial intelligence can suggest new payloads to discover new issues with better effect.
Once systems are hacked with AI machine learning, it is extremely difficult to control them. As we know, machine learning allows machines to do things on their own. Once trained, machines are able to process tasks without human help.
Attacks done by such machines become a lot more difficult to notice and even more difficult to stop. Hackers are able to control data mining with the help of AI and gain access to the larger database. Finance industry will be at the highest risk.
Automation can make any work faster and easier to manage. Hacking can also benefit from it. Hackers can program the automation cyber attacks and gain huge data in no time. Automation is used to perform repetitive work. That’s why it allows hackers to pull information together from multiple sources with the same steps.
With the expansion of AI-based cyber attacks, hackers can carry out more complex work with greater efficiency. As the attacks are going to be faster, so is the defense. These hackers can use AI for defense purpose. But if hackers can do, so can we. ethical hackers are now working on AI as a strong tool to protect from cyber attacks. AI can also act as a defender from cybercrimes.