Skip to main content
Exploring what’s next in tech – Insights, information, and ideas for today’s IT and business leaders

An innovation war: Cybersecurity vs. cybercrime

Security technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, but advances in the cybercriminal world are close behind.

Hackers are no slackers at innovation, and the list of their tricks is long and sophisticated. AI-generated deep fakes—fake images and videos—can be used in phishing campaigns; cryptojacking, using code to access and steal digital currencies; and attacks on public cloud providers to gain customers’ data. And those are just a handful of ways cybercriminals are waging war against, well, everyone else.

Attack vectors—the paths or means by which a hacker can gain access to a computer or network to deliver malicious outcomes—are extensive and changing. Things like the explosion of end-user devices accessing networks, as well as user interfaces growing as a result of advances in other technologies, are forcing organizations to continually improve their security posture.

Yet, are we doing enough to keep ahead of the criminals?

Reinventing cybersecurity with AI intelligence

MIT Technology Review Insights, in association with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, asked this question. We learned that AI is giving companies a fighting chance. In fact, 69 percent of organizations believe they will not be able to respond to security threats without AI, according to a Capgemini survey. AI tools can scan vast amounts of data and then use machine learning algorithms to look for patterns, learn how cyberattacks begin, and guide human decision-makers on how to respond. 

This e-brief examines both sides of the innovation equation and whether the cybersecurity technology in both R&D and production today is adequate defense in a constantly evolving threat landscape.

Top ways companies shield against attacks

In a recent survey, companies were asked to choose how they defend themselves. Here are the top five:

  • 68%—Assessing new technologies and vendors 
  • 52%—Cybersecurity governance and staff security awareness training 
  • 44%—Developing greater internal cybersecurity capabilities and hiring talent 
  • 37%—Developing a new organizational cybersecurity strategy 
  • 31%—Developing a new business continuity plan 

Source: MIT Technology Review Insights, 2019 cybersecurity survey, 303 respondents.

Innovation on both sides will continue

Information security software will get better at detecting and eliminating threats, and cybercrime tools will find smarter ways of infiltrating defenses. 

To stay ahead, organizations need a combination of the latest technologies, communication with government agencies, and inventive thinking about cybersecurity methodologies and practices.

Related links:

The IT security challenges small businesses face and how to address them