As we saw when the theft of $19M from the Russian Central Bank made news recently, the cyber world has become a dangerous arena where most anything goes, and we see companies, governments, and others trying to secure their online systems as quickly and effectively as possible. In the current landscape, the infiltration’s these parties fear is not just enemies and hackers, but competitors and others looking to read confidential emails, steal secrets, or simply commit fraud.
One solution to these new and ever-changing problems will be Artificial Intelligence (AI), which acts as a way to strengthen and multiply controls and become a force multiplier for humans. Every day, there are more transactions to analyze and less humans who are available to review them. In the past, we could only use rules with black and white logic which generated a large numbers of alerts, most of which were false alarms. Often true risk was lost in the noise of these excessive alerts. Because of the noise being created, many risks go undetected, and malicious people attempting to fraud a company, hack a system, or bribe a government official have been able to evade detection. And to make matters worse these perpetrators are becoming more and more clever ways to compromise systems.
AI enters the equation by becoming a force multiplier for the risk manager. It can through all the items and identify risks, even those that may be a needle in the haystack. Just as AI based systems are able to safely navigate a car in city traffic, these systems have the ability to apply more nuanced judgment around risks than existing black and white rules. In the risk management world AI calls for human judgement and remediation, there is an opportunity in this back-and-forth for the human input to help the AI grow over time, learning and improving its own internal process. The combination of the two allows quantifiable, consistent operating procedures to be formed in different areas of risk mitigation.
There is likely to be a shift toward applications that use sophisticated pre-built AI based analytics, rather than each company creating their own custom analytics for every situation which would be an expensive and time consuming process. As little as 20 years ago, people wrote their own Customer Relationship Management application themselves; now, most people use a packaged application such as saleforce.com. Though there are still custom applications being developed, most companies choose to buy pre-built applications for the use cases that are not unique to their company. This is seen as the most streamlined way to handle business needs that are common across companies. This same evolution is underway in the analytic space.
The bottom line is that cyber-attacks and cyber security are not just in the movies anymore. The threat is real, and companies and governments need to protect themselves. The best way to do this is to embrace Artificial Intelligence, an asset that can be used today and moving forward as protection against real world threats, both at home and abroad.