How AI Can Supercharge Your Zero Trust Cybersecurity Approach

How AI Can Supercharge Your Zero Trust Cybersecurity Approach

Today’s cybercriminals are far from mere amateurs experimenting with their computers. They operate with the sophistication and organization of a full-fledged business, leveraging sizable teams and resources to penetrate your systems and compromise your data. Given this escalating threat, the projected growth of the cybercrime “industry” to $10 trillion by 2025 from its current $8 trillion valuation seems almost inevitable. It’s in response to this profound threat that the adoption of a Zero Trust framework is becoming increasingly essential.

What’s more, in our new normal post-pandemic, employees don’t just access data from your office; they access it from all over the world and from unsecured networks.

But how do you protect your data in this environment if you want to operate online and benefit from working in the digital world? 

Not only does your organization need to build a robust IT infrastructure, but you also need to change how you think about security. Enter the Zero Trust framework, your new organizational cybersecurity mindset that treats everyone and everything as a suspect.

To implement this new framework, you’ll need to use equally sophisticated tools that match and surpass the skills of the cyber criminals you want to thwart. That’s why organizations must embrace artificial intelligence at every stage of the implementation.

In this article, you will explore the role of artificial intelligence in implementing an effective Zero Trust Framework and the challenges and benefits associated with using AI in cybersecurity.


What is Zero Trust?

Implementing a Zero Trust cybersecurity framework means building an organizational-wide state of mind that assumes everything and everyone is a threat, whether inside or outside your network. 

Zero Trust isn’t just a collection of tools and products. Instead, it’s a philosophy you must infuse in your employee’s online behavior and decision-making around building your IT infrastructure.  

Your guiding principles will be:

  1. Verify explicitly: Your network must authenticate every access request, action, or transaction along a user’s journey with your system.
  2. Least privileged access: Your network will only grant access to the resources a user needs to complete their work for the time they need it.
  3. Assume breach: You will design your network to act as if a violation is evitable and implement tactics that limit a breach’s impact, such as micro-segmentation and encryption. 

A successful framework must also focus on designing strategies and creating standardized guidelines for access management around six key pillars: identity, data, devices, applications, infrastructure, and networks. When your organization prioritizes using artificial intelligence in the workplace, you’ll be likelier to implement strategies that center these key pillars effectively and successfully.


The Role Of AI in Zero Trust Cybersecurity

When you pair artificial intelligence tools with your new Zero Trust mindset, this duo can massively transform the success of your cybersecurity strategies. 

You can use artificial intelligence to automate and simplify various Zero Trust processes, including:

  • Managing identities during a user’s entire interaction with your network.
  • Enforcing your governance policies and procedures. 
  • Addressing your security vulnerabilities, since you can gain quicker visibility over your entire environment. 
  • Forecasting future attack trends and possible infrastructure vulnerabilities.
  • Managing credentials and making authentication decisions by distinguishing applications and devices from human users. 
  • Verifying users using AI-powered security software like “User and entity behavior analytics” (UEBA) to oversee user privileges, permissions, and entitlements.
  • Detecting and responding to threats, empowered by AI-centric “next-gen antivirus” (NGAV) and extended detection and response” (XDR) technologies. 

With so many use cases, AI can be the proactive solution businesses need to bolster their defenses amidst this ever-evolving risk and remain empowered to identify and mitigate threats effectively.


Benefits of Using AI in Zero Trust Implementation

Businesses benefit enormously by embracing the possibilities of artificial intelligence for automating, scaling, and streamlining the necessary Zero Trust tactics for securing your infrastructure. AI tools ensure that your business can:

  • Quickly analyze and learn about typical user behaviour, making it easier to spot abnormal activity or network traffic in real-time, making threat detection more efficient.
  • Engaging in detailed data analysis and verifying user identities more accurately.
  • Allocate resources more effectively for data protection.
  • Ensure all internal users comply with your goals for technology resource usage.
  • Reduce incident response times when a cyber-attack does occur, enabling you to promptly address malicious activity and reduce its impact on your assets, finances, and reputation.
  • Cut down on the need for employee manual labour when configuring and overseeing your system, allowing your IT team to focus on other responsibilities.
  • Assess and adjust your cybersecurity strategy more efficiently to ensure your policies align with your current risk.
  • Prevent unnecessary data exposure and ensure you fulfill the Zero trust “least privileged access” principle to your best capabilities, with the opportunity to refine your authentication to the most specific identity attributes.
  • Ensure end users get faster access to your system from real-time authentication, so your employees can boost their own productivity and collaboration.


Challenges of AI in Cybersecurity

While your business can significantly enhance your digital security using artificial intelligence, AI can pose several risks and challenges for your organization. 

If reputable businesses have been learning about the game-changing possibilities that AI can bring, that also means that cybercriminals have been misusing AI advancements.

Hackers can launch more sophisticated attacks and improve their capacity to deceive your employees through social engineering. You must stay one step ahead and combat their tactics with an even more vigorous defense. 

For example, AI can quickly write phishing emails or malicious code for malware. Even when the companies behind the AI tools create barriers, intelligent hackers can find their way around them. As a result, they can scale their capacity for damage.

Moreover, businesses seeking to combat these sophisticated tactics require extensive knowledge and resource capacity to deploy their AI-powered technology. Many companies may lack the internal staff to execute these projects sufficiently.

However, by understanding these risks and challenges, you can proactively address them before you experience any negative impacts. 

Continuous monitoring, micro-segmentation, data masking, and other Zero Trust tactics can help prevent wide-scale damage from AI-empowered attacks. Small and medium-sized businesses can also outsource their cybersecurity needs to expert third-party providers who can develop flexible packages to meet their needs and budget.


We Can Guide You Through Successful AI-Powered Zero Trust Implementation

Incorporating artificial intelligence into your business as part of your Zero Trust strategy doesn’t have to be complex or overwhelming.

When you partner with PC Corp for your IT needs, our cybersecurity experts can guide you, providing the map you need to protect your critical data using AI-powered Zero Trust tactics successfully. We will assess your specific requirements and existing infrastructure, then pinpoint solutions to keep your infrastructure safe.

Connect with us today to leverage AI to elevate your Zero Trust cybersecurity framework and boost your organization’s resilience.

And when you’ve finished, watch our recent Zero Trust webinar to learn more about this powerful security approach.

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