The Center for Security and Emerging Technology has a new report: “Machine Learning and Cybersecurity: Hype and Reality.” Here’s the bottom line:
The report offers four conclusions:
- Machine learning can help defenders more accurately detect and triage potential attacks. However, in many cases these technologies are elaborations on long-standing methods — not fundamentally new approaches — that bring new attack surfaces of their own.
- A wide range of specific tasks could be fully or partially automated with the use of machine learning, including some forms of vulnerability discovery, deception, and attack disruption. But many of the most transformative of these possibilities still require significant machine learning breakthroughs.
- Overall, we anticipate that machine learning will provide incremental advances to cyber defenders, but it is unlikely to fundamentally transform the industry barring additional breakthroughs. Some of the most transformative impacts may come from making previously un- or under-utilized defensive strategies available to more organizations.
- Although machine learning will be neither predominantly offense-biased nor defense-biased, it may subtly alter the threat landscape by making certain types of strategies more appealing to attackers or defenders.