In an era dominated by technology, small businesses are increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats. As we look ahead to the next five years, the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in cybersecurity for small businesses is set to be a game-changer. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Let’s explore how AI is expected to both help and pose challenges to the cybersecurity landscape for small businesses.

How AI will help small businesses.

  • Advanced Threat Detection

AI-powered tools will become far better at identifying and mitigating cyber threats. Machine learning algorithms can analyse vast amounts of data, detecting patterns and anomalies that might go unnoticed by traditional security systems and security engineers.

This real-time, advanced threat detection will empower businesses of any size to be able to respond swiftly to potential attacks and spot them before they become an issue. It will reduce the workload of security engineers and technicians and have huge cost savings in the long term.

  • User behaviour analytics 

AI will enhance the ability to analyse user behaviour and identify deviations from normal patterns. By understanding how employees typically interact with systems, AI systems can quickly identify suspicious activities, such as unauthorised access or data exfiltration, helping small businesses prevent insider threats.

These patterns and recognitions will also enable businesses to spot better ways to store and protect data, streamline access processes, and ultimately save huge chunks of time across the business. 

  • Automated incident response

AI will streamline incident response processes, automating the identification and containment of security breaches. This not only reduces response times but also ensures a more consistent and effective approach to handling cyber incidents, even for businesses with limited resources.

Automation has been a huge tool for IT workers to get tasks done far more efficiently. However, security has often needed more due diligence due to the potential effects of a breach. Alleviating this pressure using AI tools means cost savings and less room for error.

How AI will hinder small businesses

  • More sophisticated attacks. 

As AI evolves, cybercriminals may leverage AI to launch more sophisticated and targeted attacks. This cat-and-mouse game between cyber defenders and attackers could escalate, meaning a greater challenge for small businesses to keep up with rapidly evolving cyber threats. It is important that at the board level, cyber security is taken into consideration across all business aspects to ensure that the correct procedures and systems are in place and regularly reviewed to mitigate any potential problems. 

  • Privacy Concerns

The use of AI in cybersecurity involves processing and analysing large amounts of data, which may raise privacy concerns among employees and customers. Small businesses need to strike a balance between securing their systems and respecting privacy regulations to avoid any critical data being leaked in case of a breach. A solid data access policy and protection strategy can help ensure the most sensitive data remains as protected as possible.

  • Cost and resource.

Implementing AI-driven cybersecurity solutions can be expensive in the short term, and small businesses might face challenges in terms of budget and resources. The initial investment in AI technology and the need for skilled professionals to manage these systems could be a barrier for some smaller businesses. However, over time, with cost and time savings, it will be a worthwhile investment in the long term. 

Ultimately, when it comes to all avenues of keeping your business assets and data protected, having a 360-strategy involving education, prevention, protection, and response will keep your business as protected as possible.

It is important to review these strategies consistently in line with the ever-changing landscape, especially with the rise of artificial intelligence.

Southern Solutions adopts a security-first mindset to ensure you are not only future-proofed against any potential threats but also gives you the ability to leverage AI within your business to streamline workflows, analyse business data and fight back against cyber criminals.