It’s amazing how far we’ve come with the internet and IT in general. However, with technology come issues around cybersecurity. In response, Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the face of cybersecurity. AI integrates the use of machine learning to identify characteristics of harmful software. This integration, when done well, has the promise to revolutionize the online market, especially in identity theft protection.
Table of Contents
1. What Is Artificial Intelligence?
By definition, AI is teaching machines to think like humans. Experts developing Artificial Intelligence want to create a computer capable of thinking, adapting, and learning as we do. Previously machines were limited and could only respond to specific questions if asked correctly. However, as AI emerged, there also came the possibility of a machine being able to extend past its set instructions to provide solutions.
2. Types of Cyber Theft
Unfortunately, there are several types of cyber theft. This is something that people and companies need to be aware of. Here’s a list of the types below:
- Hacking – This is where computer networks and websites are “broken into” and compromised.
- Phishing – This is the use of fake emails intended to get personal data from unsuspecting victims.
- Grooming – This entails the making of sexual advances to minors online.
In addition to the above, the most common of cyber theft practices is identity theft, which is the act of using another person's name or information to access loans or funds. Here are some examples:
- Financial identity theft – Theft of anything pertaining to finances.
- Medical identity theft - Where medical information is stolen.
- Child identity theft – Children’s identities are stolen.
- Synthetic identity theft - The use of partially false information with real information to generate new identities.
You may be surprised at just how many types of cyber theft there are! So we really need to be vigilant to develop adequate Data Security.
3. Why Is Online Security a Threat?
Online security is important both at a personal level and at a company level. The number of online cyber theft cases is increasing yearly, which is a matter of grave concern.
The Impact of Identity Theft on Individuals
- Financial identity theft cases were at a record high of 1.7 million in 2019. Out of these, 900,000 were consumer-based cases. It is crucial for businesses to understand the types of financial identity theft and its prevention.
- To understand the impact of such numbers, consumer-related cases cost $1.9 billion in revenue. This is equivalent to the cost of repaving 1000 miles of a road to pristine conditions.
- People are left with inconveniences. This includes working to stop their identity from continuing to be misused.
- Individuals are left with massive debts or have lost their entire life savings.
The Impact of Data Breaches on Companies
- Last year's financial statistics show that cyber theft cost financial institutions an estimated total of $3.5 billion.
- Businesses that are affected have to repair affected systems leading to more costs for the company. This then can lead to companies collapsing. Most notably, small and midsized companies.
- However, the most impactful effect of identity theft is damage to the company's reputation. Companies prone to cyber-attacks lead to loss of trust in customers, lost sales, and reduced profits. Reputational damage affects a company's credibility with suppliers, investors, and partners too.
- There’s a risk to companies that they will be penalized by the government if they do not do what they can to prevent corporate cybercrime. Companies can be fined for breaches of staff and employee personal information. These laws prevent companies from taking advantage of data collected form parties involved in running company activities.
4. How To Be Secure Online?
Internet theft methods are evolving every day. This means there is no guarantee that your methods of Online Security will be enough. But you still have to do your best to implement security measures. See the list below for just some of these steps:
Online Security Measures Include:
- Using trusted secure networks. This includes using patches to update your security systems.
- Educating family friends and employees on the importance of cybersecurity.
- Using a firewall and trusted internet service providers.
- Practicing a secure password culture. This includes using complex passwords, not exposing your password, and encrypting data.
- Keeping a close eye on business credit reports to notice security loopholes. You can then plug them before a cyber-attack can happen.
- Backing up your data to a very secure location. This backup can be a physical hard disk drive or trusted online cloud servers.
- Running and testing emergency data security drills with company employees and family members if there is a cyber-breach.
- Getting a cyber insurance policy cover. You may place every measure you can think of in place but still get attacked. Cyber thieves are getting smarter by the day. It’s wise to have a policy in place to cover you for losses in case the worst happens.
The above list should be enough to get you on the right path. However, it’s also really important to keep an ear to the ground on current trends on this topic.
5. How AI Is Innovating Cyber Security?
The incidents of cyber theft are really on the rise. The stats can be very discouraging. However, there is hope in the future. Experts in AI technology report on the progress of training AI to combat this crime.
Using machine learning, AI can recognize the methods identity thieves use to gather data. In fact, AI goes further to evolve as it learns, providing an input-free guard against attacks.
Currently, AI is used to detect irregularities in software, most commonly seen in Google's Android Play Store. AI is also able to look for malicious apps in Android phones.
Internet fraud causes inconveniences both at a small and big scale. The impacts on individuals and companies are great. However, there is hope in the ability of AI to learn how to protect against cyber-crime in all its insidious forms. Experts in machine learning are confident that AI is the best defense in identity theft and cybersecurity. This is very encouraging indeed.