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10 Low-Cost (or Free!) Ways to Boost Your Security AI Skills

The following hardware and software options will amplify your know-how about artificial intelligence and how to apply it to security — without busting any budgets.

From IT to marketing to HR, artificial intelligence (AI) is making its way throughout the enterprise. For security professionals, learning about the technology and how to apply it can be critical for keeping up with malicious actors and turning security into an asset. The question is how to do so without creating a new section on the "expense" side of the ledger.

The good news: Tools are available that allow virtually anyone with basic software development skills to begin honing their AI chops for a price that ranges from free to a few hundred dollars.

AI security involves many areas of research, says Jason Mancuso, a research scientist at Dropout Labs who spoke at the AI Village at DEF CON. "There is applying AI to security problems," he explains. "There's using AI to enhance red teaming or blue teaming in traditional cybersecurity. Then there's the security of AI itself, which is a totally separate field, and it's concerned with different problems."

While AI research can be conducted on a standard laptop computer, AI research can benefit from a bit of a hardware boost. For this list, we've assembled both hardware aimed at an AI mission as well as software that will help those who are first getting started.

Bear in mind: Just because these options are inexpensive doesn't mean AI is easy to master. That's where online communities, education resources, and local Meetups dedicated to AI can help.  

Have you begun the process of adding AI to your security repertoire? Which tools are you using? Let us know in the Comments.

(Image Source: Worawut via Adobe Stock)

About the Author(s)

Curtis Franklin, Principal Analyst, Omdia

Senior Analyst, Omdia

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Analyst at Omdia, focusing on enterprise security management. Previously, he was senior editor of Dark Reading, editor of Light Reading's Security Now, and executive editor, technology, at InformationWeek, where he was also executive producer of InformationWeek's online radio and podcast episodes

Curtis has been writing about technologies and products in computing and networking since the early 1980s. He has been on staff and contributed to technology-industry publications including BYTE, ComputerWorld, CEO, Enterprise Efficiency, ChannelWeb, Network Computing, InfoWorld, PCWorld, Dark Reading, and ITWorld.com on subjects ranging from mobile enterprise computing to enterprise security and wireless networking.

Curtis is the author of thousands of articles, the co-author of five books, and has been a frequent speaker at computer and networking industry conferences across North America and Europe. His most recent books, Cloud Computing: Technologies and Strategies of the Ubiquitous Data Center, and Securing the Cloud: Security Strategies for the Ubiquitous Data Center, with co-author Brian Chee, are published by Taylor and Francis.

When he's not writing, Curtis is a painter, photographer, cook, and multi-instrumentalist musician. He is active in running, amateur radio (KG4GWA), the MakerFX maker space in Orlando, FL, and is a certified Florida Master Naturalist.

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