Jun 16, 2021 - Technology

AI could help defend against cyberattacks

Animated illustration of a binary code changing into an x symbol
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A new report suggest machine learning could help in the fight against cyberattacks, but cautions that AI is far from a panacea.

Why it matters: Attacks, including ransomware, have been on the rise across a variety of industries and institutions.

Several factors have led to the increase in attacks, including the digitization of more of the economy, the growing role of cyber attacks as part of international politics and a lack of security experts, according to the report from the Center for Security and Emerging Technology.

"Machine learning can help defenders more accurately detect and triage potential attacks," CSET said in its report. "However, in many cases these technologies are elaborations on long-standing methods — not fundamentally new approaches —that bring new attack surfaces of their own."

Between the lines: Cybersecurity has been and remains an arms race. It's hard to significantly change the game, when each side can and does utilize the latest advances in technology to aid their effort.

Yes, but: The report suggests that, at a minimum, the use of machine learning could make the best defenses more widely available.

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