Techniques, Solutions, and Models: Applying Machine Learning to Cybersecurity
Machine Learning, a subfield of artificial intelligence, enables systems and applications to learn in dynamic environments without explicit programming. By analyzing historical data and identifying patterns, these systems can determine if they are achieving desired results. The growth of Machine Learning has been fueled by advancements in Big Data, diverse data sources, and increasing computational power of devices and servers.
In the realm of cybersecurity, continuous efforts are needed to uphold models like the CID triad, which focuses on the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of information. Addressing new cyber threats and enhancing detection and analysis capabilities pose significant challenges for systems, consultants, and researchers. Factors contributing to these challenges include variable complexities, rapidly advancing technology, and the ingenuity of cybercriminals.
By 2023, all conventional software should prioritize security features and policies, relying on human input to identify and analyze vulnerabilities. Establishing processes and standards for detecting and characterizing vulnerabilities is essential for developing effective tools. Integrating data science techniques, models, and Machine Learning algorithms can greatly enhance the efficiency of these analysis processes.
Importance of Classifying Malware for Learning Machine
From 2014 onwards, cybersecurity professionals have been exploring creating a malware classification system for MS Windows, utilizing features derived from static and dynamic analysis. This research employed various classification algorithms like MultiLayer Perceptron, IB1, Decision Tree, and Random Forest. Notably, outstanding outcomes can be attained by combining data from both static and dynamic analyses.
As of 2019, the application of data science in developing software solutions, including specialized predictive models for malware detection and web cyberattack prediction, has emerged as a promising approach.
By 2023, cybersecurity has evolved as a computer science discipline focused on developing and implementing information protection mechanisms and technological infrastructure for companies and organizations against potential internal or external attacks. Since 2020, there has been a growing trend to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) technologies into cybersecurity.
In 2023, 69% of companies aim to incorporate AI into their cybersecurity systems across five primary use cases: intrusion detection, network risk classification, fraud detection, user and device behavior analysis, and malware detection. AI-driven cybersecurity is currently utilized in various areas, including 75% in Network Security, 71% in Data Security, 68% in Endpoint Security, 65% in Identity and Access Security, 64% in Application Security, 59% in Cloud Security, and 53% in IoT Security.
Implementing Machine Learning Models for Cybersecurity Enhancement
As the prevalence of cybercrime continues to grow, businesses across various sectors express concerns about false security perceptions, inadequate prevention policies or guidelines, and limited reaction capabilities to cyberattacks. Artificial Intelligence (AI) proponents in cybersecurity suggest that integrating AI can create a new paradigm, effectively reducing vulnerabilities at the endpoint, and thereby decreasing the exposure area.
In 2020, 70% of reported incidents originated from network-connected endpoints, with personal computers and smartphones being the most involved. Although the term “Artificial Intelligence” might be overused, it’s undeniable that AI advancements can significantly speed up the identification of new cyber threats and enable proactive responses to stop cyberattacks before they spread.
Many companies now utilize various tools to analyze their products’ security. Among these tools, Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) stand out for their ability to detect flaws in Machine Learning models and train them to become more robust. GANs are AI algorithms designed for unsupervised machine learning, consisting of competing neural network systems. We present three frameworks for training Machine Learning models:
- Deep-Pwing: Developed in TensorFlow 1, Deep-Pwing is a framework that allows experimentation with machine learning models to evaluate their resilience against potential attacks. It also supports the gradual expansion of their knowledge base, potentially transforming it into a tool for conducting penetration tests and enabling statistical studies on specific machine learning models.
- Adversarial Lib: This Python library is designed to assess the security of machine learning classifiers against potential attacks or intrusions. Adversarial Lib enables users to launch a script or code snippet and supports a broad range of machine learning algorithms optimized and rewritten in C++. Additionally, users can contribute any missing algorithms to the library, making it increasingly comprehensive.
- The GAN Zoo: Serving as a reference page, The GAN Zoo provides users with numerous GANs for training and evaluating machine learning models. Supported by a large community of developers, new papers are added to its GitHub repository every week (The GAN Zoo, 2018).
In conclusion, machine learning has become an invaluable tool for researchers and developers in the field of cybersecurity, as it allows for the execution of numerous tests that save significant time and effort in terms of security and penetration (Flores Sinani, 2020).
Utilizing Deep Learning for Cybersecurity Applications
Deep Learning, a subset of Machine Learning, employs an automated learning approach that trains Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict specific outputs based on input data. This ability enables the AI to forecast outcomes by processing and combining data sets.
One of the key advantages of Deep Learning is its capacity to learn in real-time and develop new classification criteria without human intervention. As cybercriminals rapidly evolve and produce adaptive cyber threats, Deep Learning is increasingly applied to combat malware and online fraud.
Deep Learning can detect, classify, and address cyber threats effectively, generating solutions efficiently and quickly. Its vast applications include user identification methods to differentiate between humans and bots, detect cybercriminal impersonation attempts, or identify unauthorized access to user accounts from remote locations.
Below, we highlight some companies specializing in Deep Learning:
- Check Point: A company specializing in firewalls, Check Point is dedicated to comprehensive protection through continuous updates to its machine learning (ML) engines. Its centralized service, Campaign Hunting, scans every network point, analyzing anomalies to build a cloud-based protection platform.
- CrowdStrike: Focusing on in-depth user behavior analysis and device monitoring, CrowdStrike identifies viruses, malware, credential theft, and internal cyber threats. Their protection approach is based on machine learning techniques that create a normal activity model (baseline), which helps detect deviations in real-time and facilitates preventive measures.
- Darktrace: With a platform that establishes a baseline, Darktrace primarily aims to prevent intrusions in WAN, LAN, and WiFi networks. Its machine learning mechanisms continually enhance the model without human intervention, adapting to client requirements and perpetually improving defense capabilities.
- Deep Instinct: Founded to develop a deep learning platform for protecting end-user devices, Deep Instinct’s primary goal is to reduce reaction time to under 20 milliseconds when faced with cyber threats to end devices. After five years of training its neural network, Deep Instinct now offers a deployable agent for various device types, showcasing the extensive potential of deep learning technology.
Enhancing Cybersecurity in Business Settings with Machine Learning Applications
Automation can significantly decrease the number of false positives generated in cybersecurity. Analysts might handle 20 to 30 false-positive alerts daily depending on a bank’s size. A different strategy should be considered if resources for reviewing alerts are limited. Machine learning can be employed in the financial sector for fraud detection. For instance, Visa continuously refines its fraud detection technology, emphasizing scalable machine learning models and deep learning. This approach enables them to use a broader data scope and make inferences across various situations. They also focus on incorporating other techniques like real-time predictive analysis.
In cybersecurity, robust machine and deep learning algorithms are utilized for malware analysis, intrusion detection, and prevention. These algorithms are developed to anticipate cyberattacks and limit access to compromised files or programs.
Regarding drones, cybersecurity advancements have also been made. Drones can expand video surveillance coverage over large areas, such as parks, agricultural land, and industrial warehouses. They are versatile vehicles that can perform routine, automatic inspections or be manually piloted. Drones can be configured for facial recognition tasks and intruder detection and location. Evading or destroying them is more challenging since they are not stationary systems.
The growing importance of artificial intelligence, particularly machine and deep learning, in personal and business cybersecurity is evident. This constantly evolving technological landscape corresponds with the rise in cybercrimes and cyberattacks, leading to increasingly complex and sophisticated cybersecurity challenges.
Companies are now exploring how machine learning in cybersecurity can help mitigate these risks. Adoption rates of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity continue to rise. Organizations must identify where to implement it for maximum value and establish goals aligned with their performance or expectations.
Although numerous techniques, solutions, and models use machine and deep learning for data analysis, there is still much progress to be made, as cybercriminals are continually evolving.
admin is a senior staff writer for Government Technology. She previously wrote for PYMNTS and The Bay State Banner, and holds a B.A. in creative writing from Carnegie Mellon. She’s based outside Boston.