Digital security comes at a cost, but it’s a must-have for corporations.

Data Breaches Cost More than Upgrading to AI Systems

How secure do you feel when you are online these days? When you are banking or buying items, do you feel you have enough security from hackers and thieves?

Internet security comes at a cost, depending on how secure you want it to be. Now imagine you are a multi-billion dollar company and you need to stay secure as possible. That will cost a pretty penny these days, as well.

According to a story by digital security consultant Mark Runyon, published on, AI and machine learning are becoming the key for multinational companies to remain secure online.

As artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are increasingly deployed throughout organizations, they are solving the biggest business challenge: IT security.

In 2020, the average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million worldwide and $8.64 million in the United States, according to IBM Security. The number of areas to secure grows exponentially as technology becomes more complex with microservices, IoT and cloud services.

“CIOs can use the power of AI to combat craftier malware and phishing attacks,” Runyon writes. “We can also use it to augment our security teams, enabling them to handle an ever-growing volume of threats.”

Runyon says we also need to ask how we are securing our own AI as these algorithms become a more pivotal part of our IT systems.

Combating Phishing & Malware

Machine learning is an effective tool to combat malware and phishing by pinpointing patterns and working to shut down malware in real-time

Based on historical malware data, it spots familiar behavioral patterns such as common file sizes, what is stored in those files, and string patterns in the code, then can shut down new viruses, or variants of existing ones in real-time.

Since the bad guys are using AI, too, it’s become even more important to fight back with the best tools available. Phishing attacks are “becoming akin to finely tuned marketing emails,” as more information is available online beyond names and addresses. AI helps hackers build customized profiles at scale and analyze email responses to see what wording triggers greater click-throughs.

Companies can fight back with AI to monitor networks and track employees’ daily activities.

“Once that baseline has been established, the model can identify when a click on a phishing link is out of the norm and shut down the malicious activity before user credentials can be compromised. It is a very targeted safety wall, constructed around the user, causing minimal disruption to the network and business as a whole.”

The article explains in greater detail the limitations of AI in security. AI and ML are not magic wands that you can wave to suddenly secure your organization. Security personnel must work closely with these models to train and hone them, and these professionals are neither cheap nor easy to find.