Smarter Shields: How AI and Defensive Cybersecurity are Getting Along

What is defensive cybersecurity?

Defensive cybersecurity is a set of strategies, technologies, and practices that aim to protect computer systems, networks, and data from cyber threats, such as malware, viruses, ransomware, and unauthorized access.

Cybersecurity defensive mechanisms are everywhere, even if we don’t notice them. Firewalls, Access Control Lists, credentialed-based logins, multi-factor authentication, antivirus softwares (e.g. for Windows 11) and other operating systems are among the most common ones, but there are many others depending on the goal at hand. These defense mechanisms can be grouped into the following categories:

Threat intelligence:

The gathering, analyzing, and using of information about potential cyber threats to identify and prevent attacks.

Risk management:

The identifying, assessing, and prioritizing of potential vulnerabilities and threats to determine the best way to mitigate them.

Security operations:

The processes and tools used to detect and respond to cyber threats in real-time, including incident response, security monitoring, and vulnerability management.

Access controls:

Methods used to restrict access to systems, networks, and data visible to authorized users only, including authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) protocols.

Security awareness:

The education and training of employees and other users to recognize and prevent cyber threats, including social engineering attacks and phishing scams.

What are the main challenges of defensive cybersecurity?

Defensive cybersecurity faces a range of challenges, which can vary depending on the organization, the threat landscape, and the specific technology and practices being used.

The evolving nature of cyber threats. 

Cyber threats are constantly changing and evolving, making it difficult for organizations to keep up with the latest attacks and vulnerabilities.

The ever-growing complexity of the environment.

Modern IT environments are highly complex, with a wide range of technologies, systems, and applications. This complexity can make it difficult to identify and manage potential vulnerabilities.

Limited access to resources.

Many organizations have limited resources to devote to cybersecurity, which can make it difficult to implement and maintain effective defensive strategies. And even if they have the resources, there’s still a shortage of skilled cybersecurity personnel, which can make it difficult for organizations to implement and maintain effective defensive strategies.

It’s always difficult to manage third-party risk. 

Many organizations rely on third-party vendors and partners for IT services, which can introduce additional cybersecurity risks.

How is AI helping with cybersecurity risks?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is particularly useful in cybersecurity because it can quickly and accurately analyze large amounts of data and detect patterns and anomalies that might be missed by human analysts.

For instance, AI can be used in threat intelligence to analyze large amounts of data from various sources, identify potential threats and vulnerabilities, and provide real-time threat intelligence. This, in turn, helps organizations identify and respond to threats more quickly.

In risk management, AI can help organizations to identify potential vulnerabilities in their systems by analyzing data from various sources, such as network traffic, system logs, and user behavior, helping organizations prioritize their cybersecurity efforts and allocate resources more effectively.

In the world of Security Operations, AI can be used to automate certain tasks such as network monitoring, threat detection, and incident response. This can help organizations to respond more quickly to threats and reduce the workload on human analysts.

AI can also be used to monitor user behavior and identify potential threats, such as unauthorized access or suspicious activity, preventing data breaches and other security incidents.

More precision and automation translates into less costs for organizations. As a result, AI can be instrumental in solving some of these challenges and improving a company’s security posture.


We’re reaching the times when AI is everywhere, that’s why we need to leverage it to build smarter solutions for cybersecurity. Nevertheless, as your shields are getting smarter, so are cybercriminals, that’s why here at Red Sentry we’re focused on delivering cutting-edge offensive solutions to test if your systems are ready to face today’s threats.

Discover more cybersecurity gems: “Automated Pentesting”: An opinion piece on balancing thoroughness and efficiency in the Age of AI.


Andres Pena
Security engineer, developer and economist

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