Does Artificial Intelligence (AI) solve shortage of Cyber Security professionals

Worldwide Revenue for Security Technology Forecast to Surpass $100 Billion in 2020, According to the New IDC Worldwide Semiannual Security Spending Guide. The industries that will see the fastest growth in their security investments will be healthcare (10.3% CAGR), followed by telecommunications, utilities, state/local government, and securities and investment services.

“The pace and threat of security attacks is increasing every year, especially across compliance-driven industries like healthcare, telecom, government and financial services,” said Eileen Smith, program director, Customer Insights and Analysis.

Why is artificial intelligence used in cyber security?

Cybersecurity companies are increasingly looking to artificial intelligence tech to improve defense systems and create the next generation of cyber protection.

Two developments are driving this trend:

  • First, the demand for cybersecurity professionals is outstripping the supply of qualified personnel, as the number and severity of attacks rise.
  • Second, previously unknown attack types, known as “zero-day attacks” are also on the rise.

These trends are driving demand for automated cybersecurity, i.e. AI-driven software that can use machine learning and other technologies to differentiate benign or harmful activity on a system or network.

CompanyDescriptionTotal Disclosed Funding $MSelect Investors
TaniumA real-time endpoint management solution that provides instant visibility into networked devices through natural language processing, to allow enterprises to collect data and update machines across networks.$295MExecutive Press, Andreessen Horowitz, Nor-Cal Invest
CylanceApplies AI algorithms to predict, identify and stop malware and mitigate damages from zero-day attacks.$177MKhosla Ventures, Fairhaven Capital, Citi Ventures
LogRhythmOffers threat intelligence and analytics, for organizations to rapidly detect, respond to and neutralize threats, in addition to compliance automation and assurance, and enhanced IT intelligence.$126MAccess Venture Partners, Siemens Venture Capital, Exclusive Ventures
DarktracePairs behavioral analytics with advanced mathematics to automatically detect abnormal behavior in organizations.$107MSoftBank Group, Samsung Ventures, Ten Eleven Ventures
Sift ScienceProvides real-time machine learning fraud prevention solutions for online businesses.$54MUnion Square Ventures, Spark Capital, SV Angel
ExabeamOffers user behavior analytics that leverage existing log data to quickly detect advanced attacks, prioritize incidents and guide effective responses.$35MAspect Ventures, Icon Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners
E8 SecurityProvides intelligence and analytics software alongside a big data platform for long-term data retention and retrospective analysis.$22MAllegis Capital, March Capital Partners, Strategic Cyber Ventures
CyberXDesigned for industrial internet networks to detect abnormal behavior by analyzing the operational behavior of the networks.$11Mff Venture Capital, Flint Capital, GlenRock Israel
IntersetOffers behavioral analytics to protect critical data across the manufacturing, life sciences, high-tech, finance, government, aerospace and defense, and securities brokerage industries.$10MIn-Q-Tel, Anthem Venture Partners, Telesystem
PatternExA platform to identify malicious user intent by enabling users to predict and prevent cyber attacks in real time, across an enterprise network.$8MKhosla Ventures
SecBIOffers an advanced threat detection system that uncovers cyber attacks, including all affected users, domains, assets and more.$5MAmichai Shulman, Connecticut Innovations, Jerusalem Venture Partners
Avata IntelligenceDelivers descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics to understand and respond to security threats.$2.5MAristos Ventures
Jask LabsLeverages artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to keep corporate data and operations secure.$2MBattery Ventures, Vertical Venture Partners, Undisclosed Investors

Benefits to business with AI + Cyber Security

Security experts will tell you that humans are the weakest link in the cyber security world. The facts speak for themselves, over 90 percent of security incidents are due to human error. AI systems can learn a user’s behavioral patterns, and in the future may potentially intuit answers to email correspondence and offer a draft of an answer to the user. Currently, big tech companies are trying to develop smart search tools, like Apple, which acquired Cue in 2013 to improve the  search experience with iOS products. Slack is trying to advance the search feature of its product, and obviously Google recently released a smart search engine for G-Suite customers to do a smart search across G-Suite product, including Drive, Gmail, Sites, Calendar Docs, Contacts, and more. But tech giants are not the only ones applying AI to structure and find hidden patterns in information.

Something similar is happening in the cybersecurity field in the search for hackers’ attacks. This is how it works – security companies are applying smart prediction to find hacker patterns and identify tactics used to conduct attacks. Based on this, AI ‘learns’ the behavior and can predict what kind of attack there might be next time. There might not even be a hacker attack or real information on one, but smart AI has already assessed hacker patterns.

Does this affects cyber security jobs in future?

Despite concerns that automation will lead to job losses, security is one of the areas where AI could lead to job gains. According to a report by PwC, by the 2030s five percent or more of UK jobs will be in areas related to new robotics and AI that do not exist now.

The reason cybersecurity could lead to job gains alongside automation is the sheer amount of growth the sector is seeing. As attacks and the threat of attacks grow, more people and more sophisticated technology will be needed to fight them.

Cisco believes there are around 1m unfilled roles in this sector worldwide because of the lack of people with the right knowledge, which could increase to 1.5m by 2019.