AI promises to provide better, cheaper and faster cybersecurity solutions in the future although there are “significant challenges” ahead, according to one expert.
Simon Ractliffe, head of cybersecurity at Singtel Optus, spoke this week about the hurdles and opportunities ahead in terms of commercialising artificial intelligence (AI) techniques in cybersecurity.
“This capability holds the best opportunity for us, in terms of detection and response, but what we know is that there’s a lot to do in terms of making this detection and response to the point where it’s at industrial strength,” he told the SINET61 cybersecurity innovation conference in Melbourne on Wednesday. “It has to be truly safe to rely on … but the opportunities are just spectacular.”
The main opportunity with AI in cybersecurity is in reducing the time taken from detecting a cybersecurity event to fixing or resolving it.
“We need to be able to make good cybersecurity services accessible to small and medium businesses, and consumers, and so we see a great opportunity in that regard. Bluntly, we can see ‘better faster cheaper’ means of delivering cybersecurity through artificial intelligence and automation.”
Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist Dr Alex Zelinsky at the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) also informed the conference attendees that AI is going to be vital in stopping malicious actors slowing down or even monitoring network traffic.
But he added that humans must be able to understand and explain the processes.
“At the end of the day, people are sitting on top of systems. They must understand what is happening,” said Dr Zelinsky.
“The tampering with the social media in the US election that occurred, after the fact you can see how it was done. Of course then you can build a system to try to detect that. But usually with innovation, innovation outpaces such systems.”