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Cybersecurity Experts Caution Against Over-Reliance on AI for Defense

April 2024 by Aurimas Bakas, CEO of Cyber Upgrade

In the face of rapidly evolving cyber threats, the allure of artificial intelligence (AI) as a panacea in cybersecurity is becoming increasingly compelling, as more experts chime in on the possibility of AI use for cyberdefence.

In recent years, critical infrastructure and large organizations, such as banks and hospitals, have suffered attacks as frequent as 11.5 attacks per minute. Dataleaks, including the most recent AT&T attack that had the personal data of more than 70 million people leaked online, are all concerning stats, pressuring industries with significant digital footprint to come up with solutions.
In recent comments, Google’s CEO highlighted AI’s potential to "disproportionately" assist in defending against the rising wave of cybersecurity threats. However, other experts warn that an over-reliance on AI tools without adequate professional oversight could leave organizations vulnerable to sophisticated cyber attacks.

AI vs human expertise in cybersecurity
AI-powered tools are increasingly integrated into modern cybersecurity frameworks. These offer unprecedented capabilities in threat detection and response, proving particularly valuable in repetitive tasks like examining large data sets. "AI’s ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data at incredible speeds is indeed transforming our defensive capabilities," says Aurimas Bakas, CEO of Cyber Upgrade, a provider of AI-driven cybersecurity solutions. "However, this absolutely does not eliminate the necessity for skilled cybersecurity professionals. Instead, it highlights the need for adopting a balanced approach where AI enhances human decision-making."

While AI can detect patterns and anomalies far beyond human capabilities, its efficacy is limited by the quality of the data it learns from carefully selected use case examples, and parameters set by human operators. "Over-relying on AI can lead organizations into a false sense of security. If not properly managed, AI systems might overlook nuanced or emerging threats that have not been previously encountered or adequately defined. This is a crucial distinction, underscoring the necessity of an active developer team that provides timely updates in response to the latest dangers," explains Bakas.

The essential role of cybersecurity experts
The integration of AI tools in cybersecurity is not a replacement for human expertise but a supplement that enhances the effectiveness of modern security measures. "The role of cybersecurity professionals is more crucial than ever in overseeing AI systems. They ensure that AI operates within the correct contexts and continues to learn from the best data available," he adds.
“While rudimentary cyberdefense tasks, such as password management or antivirus implementations, can be trusted to automation, it is irresponsible to advocate AI’s current capabilities as worthy of autonomous cyberdefense, especially in protecting sensitive data,” Bakas warns. With decades of combined experience in protecting core banking infrastructure, experts at Cyber Upgrade now work alongside AI tools, using their insights to tailor and refine AI behaviors to best defend their clients.
The company focuses on developing cybersecurity solutions that integrate AI technology with meticulous expert oversight. "Our approach ensures that each client benefits from both cutting-edge technology and the strategic thinking of experienced professionals. This dual-layer defense strategy is highly important in a time where AI alone is simply not sophisticated enough to ensure security. However, when applied appropriately, leveraging its strengths, it adds immeasurable value. Fully autonomous cyberdefense may be possible in the future, but AI must first undergo significant advancements in development." says Bakas.

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