The information security world is rich with information. From reviewing logs to analyzing malware, information is everywhere and in vast quantities, more than the workforce can cover. Artificial intelligence is a field of study that is adept at applying intelligence to vast amounts of data and deriving meaningful
results. In this book, we will cover machine learning techniques in practical situations to improve your ability to thrive in a data driven world. With clustering, we will explore grouping items and identifying anomalies. With classification, we’ll cover how to train a model to distinguish between classes of inputs. In probability, we’ll answer the question “What are the odds?” and make use of the results. With deep learning, we’ll dive into the powerful biology inspired realms of AI that power some of the most effective methods in machine learning today.
Artificial Intelligence: The Way Forward in Information Security
Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies are rapidly moving beyond the realms of academia and speculative fiction to enter the commercial mainstream. Innovative products suchas Apple’s Siri® digital assistant and the Google search engine, among others, are utilizing AI to transform how we access and utilize information online. According to a December 2016 report by the Office of the President:
Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and related fields have opened up new markets and
new opportunities for progress in critical areas such as health, education, energy, economic inclusion,
social welfare, and the environment.
AI has also become strategically important to national defense and securing our critical financial, energy, intelligence, and communications infrastructures against state-sponsored cyber-attacks. According to an October 2016 report2 issued by the federal government’s National Science and Technology Council Committee on Technology (NSTCC): AI has important applications in cybersecurity, and is expected to play an increasing role for both defensive and offensive cyber measures. . . . Using AI may help maintain the rapid response required to detect and react to the landscape of evolving threats.
Based on these projections, the NSTCC has issued a National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan3 to guide federally-funded research and development.
Like every important new technology, AI has occasioned both excitement and apprehension among industry experts and the popular media. We read about computers that beat Chess and Go masters, about the imminent superiority of self-driving cars, and about concerns by some ethicists that machines could one day take over and make humans obsolete. We believe that some of these fears are over-stated and that AI will play a positive role in our lives as long AI research and development is guided by sound ethical principles that ensure the systems we build now and in the future are fully transparent and accountable to humans.
In the near-term however, we think it’s important for security professionals to gain a practical understanding about what AI is, what it can do, and why it’s becoming increasingly important to
our careers and the ways we approach real-world security problems.
It’s this conviction that motivated us to write Introduction to Artificial Intelligence for Security Professionals.
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