Many businesses today are trying to augment and improve their customer, partner, and employee experiences by leveraging artificial intelligence and bots, yet grapple with the issue of cybersecurity. We’ve all heard of the numerous accounts of cybercriminals taking advantage of chat APIs, social network application vulnerabilities, and increasingly sophisticated phishing campaigns. However, the majority of cybersecurity hacks are still accomplished in a rather old-fashioned manner — through the use of stolen credentials.
As I mentioned in a recent Wall Street Journal article on the congressional hearings on AI regulation, regulators and businesses alike must take a balanced approach to AI oversight that avoids impeding innovation. Emerging technologies — artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), bots, and more — demand a new level of cybersecurity that cannot be achieved with yesterday’s approaches. As enterprises connect data sources into AI systems, they must also consider how they will manage access to prevent security breaches and work to balance strong oversight of AI with regulation informed by technologists and data scientists.
Protect AI with an API strategy
APIs are the instruments that provide both a consumable and controlled means of accessing data. APIs make it possible to power new AI systems and chatbots with data orchestrated from across the enterprise. By using APIs to strategically manage and expose data, enterprises can benefit from insights while maintaining control and visibility of their data. For example, you can implement a custom API policy that uses AI to discover and model normal behavior to learn about your APIs, to prevent and report on advanced attacks, and instruct your platform to stop these requests.
Your API strategy should enable businesses to embed standardized access and authentication controls into APIs to regulate access to AI systems and data. By securely opening up APIs and data sources, your developers, data scientists, and IT teams will be able to leverage internal and external APIs and integrations to innovate without putting the company at risk.
Leverage AI to strengthen your cybersecurity
Your API cybersecurity strategy must include strong foundational security capabilities to provide first-line defense against a breach, including a clear view of the activity across your application network. In the event your defenses are infiltrated, you also need to be able to detect and automatically block unusual and malicious behavior like phishing and unauthorized use of stolen credentials. You also need to be able to react quickly to zero-day attacks.
You can’t rely on manual methods of monitoring, identity and access management, or threat detection given the sheer volume of connections alone. But artificial intelligence can. An API security strategy built on AI gives you the power to transcend static rules and policies. By continuously inspecting and reporting on all activity, AI can give you deep visibility into your API’s traffic and can detect abnormal behavior on your data and applications to automatically stop hackers from exploiting your APIs.
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