Cybersecurity takes a leap forward with AI tools and techniques

When faced with sophisticated cyberattacks in a rigorous simulation setting, deep reinforcement learning was effective at stopping adversaries from reaching their goals up to 95 percent of the time. The outcome offers promise for a role for autonomous AI in proactive cyber defense.

Scientists from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) documented their findings in a research paper.

The starting point was developing a simulation environment to test multistage attack scenarios involving distinct types of adversaries. The creation of such a dynamic attack-defense simulation environment for experimentation itself is a win. The environment allows researchers to compare the effectiveness of different AI-based defensive methods under controlled test settings.

Such tools are essential for evaluating the performance of deep reinforcement learning algorithms. The method is emerging as a powerful decision-support tool for cybersecurity experts – a defense agent with the ability to learn, adapt to quickly changing circumstances, and make decisions autonomously. While other forms of artificial intelligence are standard to detect intrusions or filter spam messages, deep reinforcement learning expands defenders’ abilities to orchestrate sequential decision-making plans in their daily face-off with adversaries.

Deep reinforcement learning offers smarter cybersecurity, the ability to detect changes in the cyber landscape earlier, and the opportunity to take preemptive steps to scuttle a cyberattack.

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Source: Help Net Security