AI and ML has been a buzz word in the industry for quite some time now. With ChatGPT coming into the limelight, the awareness of AI and its adoption rate has grown to exponential levels and along with it, its impact to different jobs and its associates responsibilities has been a point of debate.
It has been forecasted by many giants such as Goldman Sachs that Artificial intelligence (AI) could replace the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs. Also a study by the McKinsey Global Institute reports that by 2030, at least 14% of employees globally could need to change their careers due to digitization, robotics, and AI advancements.
So does this mean that a similar kind of change is expected in Information security as well? The answer is a mix of Yes and No. Artificial Intelligence has been in the cyber security industry long before this wave that we are talking about today. All alerts, advanced detection, proactive monitoring and automated compliance check and recovery has existed for any years.
The most common entertainment OTT platform – Netflix uses a set of robots to shut down its server and network in unpredictable ways to ensure that the platform is risk aware. In a way, if anything goes wrong to any of the servers, customers will not be affected – we in the security world term this disaster management.
Another example is our ISPs. Any time a rogue virus or malware gets circulated, its fingerprints are detected in all ISP’s across the globe. In our world, we term it, advance threat detection. Similar to this we have solution for APT – Advanced persistent threats. Machine learning based behavioural analytics tool, Automated alerting mechanism by SIEM providers – Splunk, Qradar etc. Does that mean that the requirements for the security professionals have reduced or are these tools replacing security professionals?
I perceive these questions and debate very similar to the movie IRobot. I, Robot was a 2004 American science fiction action film directed by Alex Proyas from a screen story by Vintar, based on his original screenplay Hardwired, and named after Isaac Asimov’s 1950 short-story collection. The film stars Will Smith in the main role. In the movie, we find the world ruled by Robots with three basic rules to follow, however when the world is in the verge of collapse on account of the three rules and how AI interpreted them, Humans come to the rescue and their Ethics and emotions prevails.
No matter how much a tool or technology evolves, the question of ethics will always persist. These AI tools, always work in hybrid model, some mundane and repetitive tasks will be replaced by the tools but that will enable security professionals to focus on much more interesting aspects of modern day security.
Ethics is what differentiates tools and robots to Humans. Humans will always have the power to program and reprogram AI tools and then define the point of interest for solutions. Same is applicable from a threat actor perspective. With the evolution and adoption of AI tools, the cyber threat radar will change, More vulnerabilities will be exposed and hence this will drive the requirement of more security professionals who are ethically strong and has the knowledge to protect organizations from these advanced attacks.
In the world of security, there is something called the “Risk”. This is nothing but a way to define – “can we withstand it or can my business still sustain this breach or attack? Determination of Risk and the risk appetite for an organization will always be with the leaders and the security team in order to make meaningful decisions.
To summarize, the rise of AI will drive the rise of cyber security professional. But the change is inevitable and we all will be impact by it.
In the era of AI, it is important to be constantly learning and adapting to new technologies and ways of working. This means taking courses, attending workshops and conferences, and keeping up-to-date with the latest trends in your industry. Developing soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, and collaboration will be crucial. The ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances will be key. As AI becomes more prevalent, there will be increasing demand for workers with specialized skills and knowledge. By developing expertise in a particular area, you can increase your value to employers and differentiate yourself in the job market.