AI and blockchain combining together are phenomenal for cyber security.  Since business organisations , government agencies  and consumers are dependent  on digital systems to fulfill most of their daily operations and therefore the risks of those systems being hacked and compromised have been increasing by leaps and bounds . The more better and advanced technologies these bodies  adopt, the bigger the danger and insecurity  they have to face. Actually, new solutions to do  business operations easily based on Artificial Intelligence in Operative Systems and IT software huge databases, bring even more complexity to the intricate world. However, these new technologies can also be made their strongest allies. If properly developed and embraced, they can deliver new layers of security that build up a strong shield of protection against hackers.

2018 was a terrible and alarming year for cyber security. Government bodies, national institutions, business houses and customers all saw the results of several cyber hacking ,breaches and attacks.

Experts in cyber security found that the main reasons for all these cyber attacks were primarily the systems they were working with were obsolete, out dated  and lacked improved, properly designed protection. The problem was not the digital systems in themselves. On the contrary, these allowed for better and faster communications between transversal entities in creative and remote ways. The main issue laid on their security systems.

The existing compliance mandates per vertical are neither secure nor advanced anymore, as it has been seen along these years. These outdated mandates will end up disappearing  soon. Along the same line, other traditional concepts will also disappear in the near future, such as perimeter security, storage-only encryption, access control based on privilege records, authentication that relies on one strong factor or the controversial DMZ zone.

These old and archaic, security protocols, will soon give way to new methods of security, more advanced and even capable of learning.   Two new very advanced technologies, in fact, are the ones that as per their own structure and usage, are meant to be perfect to implement a  better cyber security. This can be done just by embedding them in any IT system. These are Artificial Intelligence (AI ) and blockchain, two absolutely  new technologies that are reshaping and changing the current landscape of computing.

Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence are two technologies which, when merged, can help each other unleash their true potential. Blockchains can secure the availability and seamless access to integrity-protected large data sets, from various domains, thus facilitating the effective and more profound learning of AI algorithms. Similarly, AI can be utilised to introduce new consensus mechanisms, and therefore, new ways of interacting with Blockchains. However, when it comes to processing sensitive data, like corporate, healthcare and finance data, several security and privacy concerns arise that should be carefully considered. The interaction with Blockchains is subject to data credibility checks, data leakages related to transaction likability compliance with data protection regulations, on-chain data privacy, and malicious smart contracts. To address these challenges, new security and privacy-preserving solutions that are either based on AI or utilised for protecting AI-based blockchain data processing are emerging to facilitate the integration of these two cutting-edge technologies.

The aim of AI and blockchain application in cyber security  more precisely  is to attract new approaches, innovative machine learning and, generally, intelligent techniques that interact with blockchain technology to create advanced solutions that provide a secure environment for data processing and protect the privacy of individuals. Furthermore, the Research Topic is not limited only on these topics, but also covers issues related with secure decentralized  and distributed machine learning, security- and privacy-by-design AI/Blockchain, privacy-preserving blockchain-based solutions, GDPR-compliant AI/Blockchain, and evaluation and optimisation  of AI/Blockchain solutions. 

AI solutions can be applied to produce a learning security behaviour capable of detecting and eliminating threats, just like humans do, but thousands of time faster. Blockchain, on the other hand, leverages a secure and highly encrypted digital ledger platform, only accessible by authorized peers.

AI and Intelligent security solutions

Artificial Intelligence nowadays has been inserted in what is now called as Intelligent Security solutions. These are protocols, software or even raw code that is added to the IT system of a company or institution. AI, then, adds another layer of security capable of learning from threats, security breaches and other data collected through their mechanisms.

By combining aspects of machine learning and artificial intelligence with traditional security applications, Intelligent Security Solutions, are more capable of adapting to new threats and to secure new types of applications. Basically, this system is based on AI algorithms that are able to learn from security breaches to avoid them in the future. Consequently, the more attacks a system is hit with, the more reliable the security will be to defend itself in the future.

Cyber security using Blockchain Technology

One of the main characteristics of blockchain technology is that it is actually secure per se, thus allowing for AI code to be inserted within its platform. This distributed ledger is built and written bearing in mind the goal of  securely storing millions of data within its platform, leveraging a series of architecture tweaks for it. It is conceived, through its proof of work protocol that implies that every person part of the blockchain, accounts for all the changes made in the chain, so all modifications have to be approved. Similarly, this system allows for a trustless principle where all transactions are anonymous, but they stay recorded in the chain and a ID will be stored.  All of these measures go towards keeping the integrity of data.

As a matter of fact, blockchain is the next step within databases development.
A blockchain platform is formed out of infinite blocks, every time a block is solved, the platform itself will create a new block carrying along a “hash”, or fingerprint from the previous block. One of the main characteristics that makes blockchain highly secure it is its decentralised nature: What is used to secure the authentication of the source of the transaction is cryptography, through the hash codes. There is never a duplicate recording of the same transaction. As such, the need for a central intermediary is not there any more. This breaks with the paradigm of centralised consensus.

 Blockchain platforms use two type of consensus among all members called proof of stake and proof of work to validate any changes make on any given block amid asking users to prove ownership. Proof of stake (PoS) is a method by which a blockchain network aims to achieve distributed consensus. Proof of work (PoW) method on the other hand, asks users to repeatedly run hashing algorithms or other client puzzles to validate electronic transactions. Both ways are thought upon leveraging that any change made on the blockchain is generally validated among all users, hence making the blockchain intruders-free as any external change will be watched by hundreds if not thousands of users.

Characteristic that most cyber security experts have laid their eyes on is the possibility of building smart contracts within a blockchain platform. Smart contracts not only define the rules and penalties around an agreement in the same way that a traditional contract does, but also automatically enforce those obligations for all parts. Smart contracts terms are recorded in a computer language instead of legal language. Smart contracts can be automatically executed by a computing system, such as a suitable distributed ledger system. The potential benefits of smart contracts include low contracting, enforcement, and compliance costs; consequently it becomes securely viable to form contracts over numerous low-value transactions.

The design and operation of blockchain involves thousands of parameters, as well as the trade-off of security, throughput, decentralization, and other parameters. Artificial intelligence technology can simplify these decisions and optimize the blockchain to achieve higher performance and better governance. Moreover, artificial intelligence can also improve the intelligence of blockchain applications and reduce errors caused by human influence.

Blockchain has great advantages in protecting data, while artificial intelligence is good at analysis, prediction, and judgment. The combination of the two can be used for related research, such as price prediction and transaction analysis.