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Bad actors in the digital sphere continue to advance in their ability to access and exploit business data. As a result, the cyber security challenges small business owners and operators face continue to grow and change. With fewer resources for security technology and personnel than enterprise competitors, how can small businesses remain secure and competitive? One option is becoming more attainable and practical: using artificial intelligence in cyber security.

Protect Your Small Business with Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Security

As technology becomes more affordable, small business can take advantage of options formerly available only to the deep pockets of big business. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in particular are in that vein. Previously available only at the enterprise level, using AI in cyber security is now a more affordable technology solution for small businesses. Small business leaders should take time to understand how AI can help stop cyber attacks and make decisions for their companies accordingly.

How AI Can Help Stop Cyber Attacks

Few businesses today operate without any help from technology. Data storage, data processing, project management, and inventory management are just a few of the areas in which small businesses turn to hardware and software solutions. But as more functions or operations shift to the Internet, small businesses become vulnerable in new ways.

Understanding the evolution of the ways cyber criminals access private data is critical to understanding how AI can help stop cyber attacks. Through the Internet, bad actors can gain access to a world of information at the touch of a button—literally. While passwords once blocked unauthorized access over the wires, those seeking unauthorized access to your data and operations are developing more advanced ways to gain that access, even using the advanced computing power of AI and machine learning.

The solution for small businesses is to fight fire with fire. Small businesses can defend against AI-managed attacks by using AI as a shield. Some AI software analyzes user patterns, such as the time and frequency of access and the data accessed, to determine risk scores—ratings based on the likelihood that a particular user or login is a threat to security. Using artificial intelligence in cyber security in this way, businesses can gain analyses of user data and the resulting threat risk in a fraction of the time required by human evaluators, allowing earlier identification—and intervention—of potential threats and improving endpoint security.

The Future: AI Biometrics for Small Business Cyber Security

Small businesses can also increasingly incorporate biometric security measures without breaking the bank. Consumer level products incorporate fingerprint scanners and facial recognition with increasing frequency. It’s not a giant leap to considering such technology for small business cyber security, too.

Biometrics are unique human characteristics that can be used to authenticate a person’s authorization to access information or transact business. Fingerprint and facial recognition come to mind, but biometrics used for security can also include these:

  • Voice recognition;
  • Palmprint recognition;
  • Retinal scans;
  • Gate analysis; and
  • Physical behaviors such as typing cadence or pressure.

Big business is already using biometrics to help secure company and customer accounts. Financial institutions like Schwab use voice ID to authenticate customers calling in to check balances, transfer funds, or request market transactions. But small businesses can take advantage of this technology, too. Without a huge outlay in costs, small businesses can incorporate biometrics into security protocols to limit access to facilities, equipment, or data—a simple fingerprint scanner can add a layer of protection that is more difficult to hack.

Incorporating biometrics for small business security does not necessarily mean abandoning existing security measures. Small businesses can shift to multifactor authentication, keeping their current password or other security step while adding a biometric function. The use of more than one type of authentication, especially if each step is from a different category, decreases the likelihood that the bad actor will be able to crack both.

Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Security

By incorporating artificial intelligence in cyber security measures, small businesses can more widely distribute heightened security protocols and get away from the need to install individual endpoint-based defenses. Learning about the options can help you identify how they can be incorporated into your business’s security protocols. Consulting your in-house IT personnel or an outside contractor can help you find the best options for AI in cyber security for your particular needs.