The Persistent Human Element in the Future of Cybersecurity

31 May 2024

The current decade will always remain etched in the annals of tech history for the unprecedented advent of artificial intelligence. It wouldn’t be farfetched to say that AI is making an indelible mark on almost every aspect of human life. Tech pundits and gurus are already predicting its far-reaching transformative effects and the occupations it will render obsolete. A potent question is whether the cybersecurity landscape is slated to incur ramifications from this onslaught. Is AI going to edge out humans, or is it likely to augment human roles? What do the industry trends tell us about it?

The Ever-evolving World of Cyber Threats

According to Forbes, the share impact of AI is likely to affect 15% of the global workforce. However, the Cybersecurity realm will remain immune to it because of a few key points. First is the ever-evolving nature of cyber threats. What was once considered a bane for cyber security specialists has become a blessing in disguise. AI models are adept at identifying threats and risks, but they depend on pattern feed, allowing them to pinpoint deviations.

AI lacks the intuition and critical thinking to cope with anomalies falling outside the jurisdiction of the feed. In this particular scenario, AI would be incapable of formulating timely countermeasures, resulting in the compromise of organizational infrastructure.

A human brain, on the other hand, is capable of rational thinking and contextual understanding, making it more adaptable, superior, and capable of interpreting previously unencountered threats and security lapses. It can also devise on-the-spot inventive measures to safeguard digital assets. After such an instance, the AI feed pattern will likely be updated with the latest information to improve and enhance its threat detection by a human engineer!

Traversing ethical and legal considerations is still not the forte of artificial intelligence. When it comes to cybersecurity, these ethics and considerations become very convoluted with human behavior added to the mix.

For instance, how can privacy violations of an individual’s data be curbed in a way that doesn’t infringe any rights? Regulation of surveillance and monitoring in a non-pervasive manner and, lastly, drawing a boundary between user responsibility and organizational security protocols.

In broad-spectrum, AI can be taught to discern these factors but it can't substitute for human judgment and decisiveness to reach decisions that are majorly aligned with implemented standards and practices.

Incident Response and Management

Incident response and management capability of AI and ML algorithms have been a much-debated topic. Some proponents deem it indispensable, and some opponents are quick to point out various proverbial chinks in the armor.

Though the autonomous response of cybersecurity-based AI systems operates on containment, remediation, and recovery, but again they rely on historical security and threat analysis data points. The delegation of tasks according to the criticality of threat level and undertaking adaptive strategies are better deployed when relying on the collective cognitive prowess of a human-led response team.

Who is Protecting the Protector?

Lastly, the AI system, which an organization might trust to shield itself, is prone to attacks. In the absence of human oversight and supervision, miscreants find inventive ways to manipulate the AI and achieve their nefarious objectives. This includes intentional and subtle data manipulation to hoodwink the AI. The technical moniker of this is “adversarial attacks”.

Adversarial attacks dupe the AI into misclassifying or failing to detect a threat. Hackers might also keenly and zealously observe the AI model and record its behavior when given certain inputs. This allows them to deduce the model’s behavior, response time, and preventive measures and then develop ways to bypass it.


In conclusion, it is safe to assume that in the near future, AI will play a pivotal role in cybersecurity, but it still hasn’t attained the level of maturity, refinement, and dependability to circumvent the human element. Cybersecurity specialists will remain crucial for nurturing, training, and refining these systems for peak performance.