Today, the biggest cyber threats facing businesses are the hackers who carry out attacks and not the software that they use. However, many experts believe that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology can allow a cyber attack to adapt to anything from an email filter to a specific employee’s personality.

Until recently, AI was only capable of performing basic actions under a rigid set of guidelines—such as a search bar that fills in suggestions as you type. But as computer processors have become more powerful and less expensive, researchers developed advanced machine learning programs that can mimic some of the human decision-making process.

AI programs still aren’t sophisticated enough to perform intricate tasks or “outthink” a human. However, hackers can still use them to identify risk exposures and adapt to defenses. Here are just some of the ways that AI programs can increase your cyber risks:

  • Mapping network activity to determine the best day and time to launch an attack
  • Determining who your third-party vendors are, and if it would be easier to access your data by attacking them instead
  • Automatically adapting attacks to account for security exploits—such as an out-of-date software patch or unsecure Wi-Fi network
  • Making connections between data from social networks, emails and even individual messages to build an accurate behavior profile for social engineering schemes
  • Launching multiple cyber attacks at a single network’s weak points in order to overwhelm it, steal data or disrupt services
  • Learning from failed attacks, such as identifying how the program was discovered and changing future attacks based on how a business responded

Experts are also working to implement machine learning technology into cyber defense plans, but businesses need to stay aware of how they can protect themselves. Contact us at 608-238-2686 today for information on how cyber insurance can help safeguard your business from the growing list of cyber threats.

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