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The Role of AI in Enhancing Application Security.

Artificial intelligence has been one of the most striking technological breakthroughs that we’ve seen over the last decade.

The Role of AI in Enhancing Application Security

21st May 2024

Artificial intelligence has been one of the most striking technological breakthroughs that we’ve seen over the last decade. Alongside the rise of cloud technologies, AI has paved the way for an expansion in several fields. One industry that’s actively using AI to enhance its capabilities is cybersecurity. Especially in application security, which requires defence against zero-day attacks and a high degree of protective resilience, AI has proved vital.

In this article, we’ll explore the increasing role that AI is playing in enhancing application security, commenting on the challenges it solves and how experts are using AI in application security.

The Zero Day Challenge

Every year, millions of individuals around the world are impacted by cybersecurity breaches. A breach can occur due to any number of factors, including poor configurations to the inability to effectively monitor a company’s attack surface.

A rising threat that has continued to impact companies and their private records over recent years is zero-day attacks. A zero-day vulnerability is any exploit within an application or system that the developer doesn’t know is there. If a cybercriminal is able to find an exploit before the developer does, they can use it to conduct rapid and extremely destructive attacks, liberating records before security teams can react.

Due to the covert nature of zero-day attacks, they are extremely difficult to detect. With the majority of attack vectors, there is a defining signature that security teams and tools can keep watch for. When a signature that’s associated with a certain attack appears on the system, a team can rapidly mobilize to stop any potential breach from occurring.

Yet, with a zero-day attack, there still isn’t effective software that can detect a signature – mainly because the attack could come in many formats, making it exceedingly difficult to detect and stop.

Zero-day exploits have become so disastrous for businesses that companies are increasingly launching hackathons or bug bounties, offering ethical hackers money to find exploits in their systems before a bad actor does. Years ago, before the inception of artificial intelligence, the only way of protecting a system against zero-day attacks was to find the vulnerability before a hacker did. However, over the last few years, that has begun to shift.

The Role of AI in Application Security

When security teams combine existing application security with artificial intelligence tools, they are able to better monitor their applications, helping to identify anomalous behavior and generate a defensive response in a fraction of the time that traditional systems take.

In zero-day exploit scenarios, time is of the essence. By monitoring an application, pulling and analyzing data on its runtime environment, and searching for malicious or suspicious activity, artificial intelligence is able to push back against the severity of zero-day attacks.

Artificial intelligence tools in application security can:

  • Detect Suspicious Behavior: Artificial intelligence works by analyzing millions of data points at once, creating a holistic understanding of a system’s health and operations. With this expansive insight into an application, it can rapidly detect any changes, alerting security teams and even mounting a defensive attack against zero-day attacks before they get off the ground.
  • Monitor User Activity: Every public application that a business uses will have users who actively interact with the system. With effective access controls, this normally isn’t a problem. However, if someone’s account details are phished or lost, a malicious actor could use an account to breach data from your system. AI tools will monitor account activity, flagging and blocking access if an account exhibits unusual behavior.
  • Identify Vulnerabilities: When combing through a system, some AI-enabled application security tools can even perform baseline penetration testing, aiming to identify potential weaknesses in your systems. Some tools will then even suggest mitigative steps that your security team can take to patch or remove these vulnerabilities.
  • Reduce Burden: Another impressive benefit of AI in application security is that its wide range of capabilities reduces the overall burden that you place on your security teams. Especially in light of the ever-expanding attack surface that security professionals have to deal with, coverage from AI can reduce the workload on your teams and help them concentrate on other priority areas.

Artificial intelligence offers an impressive level of data analysis, behavioral tracking, and system monitoring, providing an answer to zero-day attacks. Instead of a system being exploited by surprise, AI-enabled application security provides an instant response, helping teams to provide their businesses with the best possible level of defense.

Across the board, AI offers a more precise way to manage the rising threat of zero-day attacks. By enhancing your security posture with artificial intelligence, you create a comprehensive level of defense, fortifying your security architecture and reducing the likelihood of your business falling prey to attacks.

Enhancing Application Security with AI

For businesses that want to actively offer applications or other deployments, security must be a priority. With a mounting number of cyber attack cases occurring every single year, organizations have to maintain constant vigilance over their systems.

Even when a company has some of the leading security systems and teams in the world, they are still unable to completely avoid breaches. Zero-day vulnerabilities have become so prominent that additional measures are now required.

Where possible, businesses should look to partner with security solutions that offer built-in AI, providing an additional layer of defences that can keep them safe. Artificial intelligence is one of the best tools that organizations have at their disposal to enhance application security and keep their private data safe.

Categories: Articles, Tech

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