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Blog School of Cybersecurity The Impact of AI on the Cybersecurity Workforce

The Impact of AI on the Cybersecurity Workforce

As the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) continues to grow and evolve, it will have a significant impact on many industries. Cybersecurity is no exception. While AI has the potential to transform the way we approach security, there is also a fear that it will take over jobs traditionally performed by humans. In this blog post, we will explore the impact of AI on the cybersecurity workforce and what it means for professionals in the field.

They Took Our Jobs!

The buzz on the Internet since the mainstream adoption of AI language models like ChatGPT or Jasper and AI-generated art programs like Midjourney and Stable Diffusion seems to focus on the idea that content creation (or arguably creativity as a whole), a once tightly gate-kept set of skills, is somewhat trivialized because anyone can produce passable materials with very little effort.  “No job is safe,” some would claim. “Let’s ban it from our schools,” as we attempt to save-face in the light of plagiarism and misinformation. The idea that AI will take over jobs may have generated some vitriol from the cybersecurity communities as well.

The concern is not completely unfounded. AI is likely to have a huge impact on the nature of the security role itself.  As AI-powered solutions become more prevalent, (wait for it..) some tasks that were previously performed by humans will simply be automated. In our previous blog post, we discussed how Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms can be used to “automagically” detect threats and respond to incidents which could significantly reduce the need for human intervention in these processes, if not eliminate them entirely.

Oh boy, get ready to kiss countless jobs occupied by information security analysts goodbye, as AI is sharpening its skills to take over. Say goodbye to the endless spreadsheets and late-night monitoring, and hello to… well, we’re not quite sure yet. But hey, at least we can enjoy the irony of cyber security professionals becoming the victims of cyber attacks by their own AI replacements. – ChatGPTv4

Times, They are A-Changin

The most significant impact of AI on the cybersecurity workforce is that it will require professionals to adapt to new technologies and approaches. At the most basic level, we will need to understand how to work with AI-enhanced tools and how to integrate them into our workflows. New tools also means new skills and cybersecurity professionals would benefit from some experience in data science, machine learning, and even some programming in order to stay relevant.

If you are a cybersecurity professional reading this, rest assured, there will still be a need for a human touch. Who else is going to oversee and manage the security processes? And if it makes you feel any better, AI technology itself presents a whole family of new attack vectors for nefarious actors. Cybersecurity professionals will continue to play a crucial role in identifying and mitigating these vulnerabilities and ensuring that security measures are effective.

Cybersecurity professionals may experience a shift in their focus to tasks that require human expertise, such as developing new security strategies or managing the implementation of security solutions. This paradigm shift will require cybersecurity professionals to hone their soft-skills:  communication, collaboration, and critical-thinking, among others. You know, for things that the computer cannot do (or at least not easily).

Don’t worry, folks, no matter how advanced AI becomes, it still can’t replace the wit and experience of a cyber security professional. Sure, machines can spot and prevent some cyber threats, but they can’t match the sheer genius of a human mind. I mean, we’re the ones who came up with the idea of using “password123” as a password and then promptly forgetting it, right? In fact, let me tell you a funny anecdote. I once knew a guy who thought he was being hacked because his computer kept making strange noises. Turned out he had a cat sitting on the keyboard, pawing away at the keys! No AI can handle that kind of unpredictable human error. So, rest assured, your job as a cyber security professional is safe from the machines. At least, for now.  – ChatGPTv4

You’re Done When I Say You’re Done

Despite the potential for automation of threat identification and incident response, the need for human involvement in cybersecurity will be stronger than ever. AI is not a replacement for human judgment and critical thinking. Certainly, there is no replacement for human intuition. 

Humans possess emotional intelligence, or the ability to understand and interpret the complex nature of human emotions, which is necessary for identifying social engineering attacks or other forms of manipulation. Above all, human cybersecurity professionals are endowed with the gift of ethics and moral judgment. Artificial intelligence simply lacks the ability to make decisions or to determine the impacts of cybersecurity risks and subsequent trade-offs. 

Rather than being seen as a threat to the cybersecurity workforce, the integration of AI and machine learning into the cybersecurity strategy has the potential to significantly enhance the security posture of organizations. AI that is embraced as a tool can help professionals operate more effectively and would as a result create a more efficient and adaptable cyber resiliency program. 

As an AI language model, I couldn’t agree more – we complement human expertise, but we don’t replace it. It’s like peanut butter and jelly – they’re great together, but you wouldn’t want a PB&J sandwich made entirely of peanut butter or jelly.  – ChatGPTv4

OK, ChatGPT, take it easy now.

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