26 October 2021
Los Angeles, CA
Alyssa Cotrina, Beyond Limits


It’s becoming more and more apparent as time goes on that cyberattack efforts have been mounting, becoming increasingly more targeted, devious, and destructive. Fortunately, advanced technologies like AI for cybersecurity are already putting themselves on the front lines of the battlefield, working to protect the entire gambit of entities across the globe from whole industries to businesses and even individuals themselves.
“Cybersecurity has grown a lot because of AI, and we’re going to see tremendous growth in this area as we implement new techniques,” said AJ Abdallat for Pillsbury. Trusted AI solutions that have the ability to help humans comprehend the complete scope of such incidents and streamline detection efforts may prove themselves as formidable opponents in the fight against cyberattacks.
Recently, Pillsbury put out a report on Artificial Intelligence & Cybersecurity: Balancing Innovation, Execution and Risk – in which Beyond Limits CEO, AJ Abdallat, was quoted throughout the findings as one of their contributing expert sources.
“Through comprehensive desk research, literature reviews and expert interviews, the report explores the opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence (AI) as it relates to cybersecurity. Specifically, this report explores the issue from two angles: how AI can help strengthen security by, for example, detecting fraudulent behavior more easily than human watch dogs can; and how the growing need for data to train AI systems is intensifying concerns around privacy and what companies need to watch out for.” (Pillsbury 3)
Cybersecurity: The Growing Need to Address an Incessant Threat
While cybercrime has been an evolving scourge to the digitalization revolution for several years, the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted the issue to entirely new heights. A 2020 report by INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organisation) brought to light a study that revealed “the impact of COVID-19 on cybercrime has shown a significant target shift from individuals and small businesses to major corporations, governments and critical infrastructure. In one four-month period (January to April) some 907,000 spam messages, 737 incidents related to malware and 48,000 malicious URLs – all related to COVID-19 – were detected by one of INTERPOL’s private sector partners.” (INTERPOL)
Findings within the report detail the burgeoning landscape of cybercrimes further propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, including online scams/phishing, disruptive malware such as ransomware and DDOS, data harvesting malware, malicious domains, and misinformation. 
As if our collective, international social and business communities hadn’t already been blindsided by all the horrors that came with the pandemic itself, bottom dwellers of the digital underworld decided to double down and ramp up their destructive initiatives on top of everything else. “Cybercriminals are developing and boosting their attacks at an alarming pace, exploiting the fear and uncertainty caused by the unstable social and economic situation created by COVID-19.” (Jürgen Stock, INTERPOL Secretary General)
The Challenges of AI for Cyber Security
Deploying AI in the struggle against cyberattacks seems to be an increasingly unavoidable tact to fight the unyielding barrage of newer, more advanced malware devices and destructive digital strategies. Unfortunately, artificial intelligence in cyber security as a line of defense doesn’t come without its own challenges.
  • Creation & Implementation of Malicious AI
While it’s becoming apparent that artificial intelligence in cyber security will be completely necessary, the implementation of the technology has also become a bit of a double-edged sword as cyber criminals learn, build, and launch their own artificial intelligence counterstrike schemes in response. The old idiom, fight fire with fire is certainly relevant in this scenario. Malicious actors will indeed use their own AI software creations to try and infiltrate our most valuable data.
Does this mean we just give up the fight? Absolutely not. As long as software companies continue working toward the goal of building AI for good and persist in the advancement of their artificial intelligence solutions, there will always be a fighting chance to outfox those entities that seek to harm us for their own gain.
  • Discrepancies Across Data Privacy Regulations
International inconsistency around data privacy laws, policies, and regulations is another complication altogether. Data protocols in relation to privacy have a significant function when it comes to companies, institutes, and other entities having to restrict the amount of data they can gather, utilize, and collect for cybersecurity objectives, predominantly in areas with rigorous parameters such as particular states within the United States and Europe.
“Absolutely it is a disadvantage. If we had a national system, it would allow us to focus on one uniform system because now, the resources I’m putting to basically look at 50 different sets of protocols and procedures, those resources can actually work on innovation and on deployment of solutions instead.” (Abdallat, Pillsbury 15)
  • Lack of Trust in AI: Readiness, Adoption & Implementation Hesitancy
The aforementioned challenges are just two of the barriers to readiness, adoption, and implementation of AI for cybersecurity. Hesitancy also presents itself as an issue since some governments, industries, organizations and individuals are wary of the technology, often stuck in a cyclical pattern of misconceptions that circumscribe artificial intelligence. “I would say readiness varies from industry to industry.” (Abdallat, Pillsbury 16)
The fact that a great deal of AI solutions operate within an obscure structure – often called “black box” artificial intelligence – doesn’t help matters. People are also concerned that they will be left out of the equation – that AI will leave their decisions in the dust, operating autonomously without their input. “The problem with AI is that you’re going to lose the ability for what I call human hunches or gut feelings, because now you’re relying more on algorithms and machines. We champion a hybrid approach of AI to gain trust of users and executives as it is very important to be able to have explainable answers.” (Abdallat, Pillsbury 18)
The Invaluable Path Forward Lies in AI Progress & Prowess
“Ultimately, I believe that AI is going to create more jobs, because AI can open the doors for us to go after more creative problems and allow us to go after challenges that were not achievable by human individuals alone.” (Abdallat, Pillsbury 14)
The truth of the matter is that artificial intelligence is capable of accomplishing feats that humans cannot. This most advanced form of technology is ideal for tackling several of the most formidable fissures in current cyber-safeguards. “AI can basically process large numbers of data files all at once, which is obviously a lot faster than a human could and that really is important. The other key thing is that it works 24/7 because AI doesn’t need a lunch-break—it doesn’t get tired.” (Abdallat, Pillsbury 7)
AI can deliver system monitoring around the clock, making threat detection labors more seamless and autonomously enhancing the effectiveness of those efforts as it learns through the progression of time. “It’s amazing what AI and machine learning can do as they can identify behaviors, patterns and anomalies.” (Abdallat, Pillsbury 9) Artificial intelligence makes available essential data security unlike ever before while moderating unforeseen errors and guaranteeing agreement with recognized policies, regulations, practices, and more.
“I think companies that invest in creating a strong infrastructure with policies and invest in training management and people are going to succeed whereas others who are taking it lightly are coming to the short end of the stick. You want to find that right balance, where you want to minimize the number of people that need to get involved, so you’re reducing your risk, but at the same time, you have oversight— and you also still have human involvement.” (Abdallat, Pillsbury 20)
Beyond Limits is one such company creating AI that addresses nearly all of the challenges laid out in the preceding section. Beyond traditional artificial intelligence, Beyond Limits software products and solutions, powered by Cognitive AI, apply human-like reasoning to solve problems, similar to the way in which humans form conclusions using inference and logic. This powerful hybrid approach combines conventional machine learning techniques with embedded domain expert knowledge, industry best practices and human decision-making, yielding more confident actions, providing the most critical stakeholders with improved decision-making and accelerated remediation actions that enhance risk mitigation and decrease waste unlike ever before.
Seeing as explainability is a vital feature to building trust in the technology, Beyond Limits AI also always operates in a glass box, forever keeping humans in the loop by delivering clear, readable audit trails that explain the reasoning behind its recommendations, with the context-rich information necessary for solving the most complex challenges facing our world today.
“A digital-ready company culture must exist with an innovation-minded team that’s empowered to implement structural transitions kicked into high gear by the adoption of AI technology. It’s vital this culture places importance on data-driven decision-making instead of defaulting to legacy approaches. This is where your AI investment will either thrive or fall flat.” (Abdallat, Forbes)
Any AI company worth its salt delivers a product that helps distinguish the chief issue that needs to be solved and supports the customer along on their journey to execute digital transformation, adoption, and implementation. Beyond Limits ensures a streamlined transition by safeguarding proper implementation and utilization. Promoting collaboration that includes human stakeholders at every level – while building on their unique skillsets – are vital aspects to establishing trust in the technology and resulting in successful adoption.
The Future of AI for Cybersecurity
While artificial intelligence on its own may not be the singular antidote to the increasing cybersecurity obstacles faced across the globe, tactful AI preserves the hope that we’re moving in a consequential direction, heightening standing security tactics and data defense initiatives with intention. When used in conjunction with human decision-making, expertise and best practices, the possibilities are endless.
AI and humans can work in harmony, one taking full advantage of the unique capabilities of the other to effectuate entirely new planes of efficacy, attention to detail, and mitigation unlike ever before. “Integrating AI technologies with cybersecurity programs and systems, businesses across sectors have an invaluable opportunity to address one of the most complicated and potentially damaging risk factors organizations face today.” (Pillsbury 4)