How AI Joins The Private Business Fight Against Cyberattacks

A coordinated cyberattack on a computer network happens within a fraction of a second and with greater amounts of information than a human mind can readily comprehend. Businesses and programmers know that the only way to stop a cyberattack is to fight fire with fire. They must utilize programs and systems that teach themselves to recognize cyberattacks and to respond just as rapidly as the attack is launched on the business network. Advances in artificial intelligence (“AI”) are enabling this rapid response.

Replicate Human Ability

Those advances are seen in products from companies like Cognetyx, which has developed a cognitive monitoring and surveillance system that learns regular user patterns in a network and flags in real time any behavior that it perceives as rogue. The volume of data flowing through a company network at any point in time would make this task impossible for a IT manager. Artificial intelligence in these products replicates a human ability to recognize patterns and deviations at the gigabit speed of network operations.

Monitor Big Data and Information

Better AI leads to stronger applications, including private business and corporate protection against state-sponsored cyberattacks. MIT researchers have partnered with the cybersecurity firm PatternEx, for example, to develop a system that can detect up to 85 percent of those attacks even though they are buried in more than 3.6 billion lines of daily network log files. In all cases, the value of AI is in its ability to monitor almost unfathomable volumes of information almost as rapidly as that information is generated.

AI business defense applications are not limited to network monitors and detection of patterns and deviations from those patterns. Wherever decisions need to be made instantaneously on the basis of an analysis of reams of objective data, AI is ideally-suited to make those decisions. A CEO who encounters unexpected analytics in their business intelligence can rely on AI to generate the best insights to counter those abnormal activities. AI can scan huge volumes of visual media to deliver mission-critical analysis that can identify key personnel or important locations for business reaction purposes. These AI applications give results in minutes, rather than in the weeks or months that analysts would require to review the same amount of business information.

Still, enterprise information systems will always be the mother lode for cyberattackers and most AI applications are geared toward protecting those system. The cybersecurity firm, Cylance, has specifically designed an AI product for enterprise applications that is in full compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act and the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, as well as the standards published by the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team. The company’s AI system strives to detect attacks before they happen while eliminating false positives and other matters that can tie up system resources.

A Realistic Approach To Protection

The reality of state-sponsored cyberattacks into company networks should also not be dismissed as paranoia driven by politics. Toni Gidwani, director of research operations for ThreatConnect, in late 2016 stated that “[s]tate-sponsored hacking is becoming an increasingly public cyber threat, and enterprises across the world need to ready themselves for the possibility of a highly targeted, stealthy attack.” A state-sponsored attack is more likely to be denied by its perpetrators, to be targeted at precise files or data, and to take the form of advanced persistent threats that are surreptitiously inserted into a private business network to work their data breaching action at a later time. AI systems are the best technology that is currently available to repel these attacks.

Any attack that does succeed will likely result in significant financial losses for the targeted business, regardless of whether that entity is in the public or private sector. Cyber protection insurance can provide resources to help a business recover from a cyberattack and to recover its operations as quickly as is possible and with a minimum of customer and client dislocations. Just as AI is the future of protection against state-sponsored cyberattacks, cyber protection insurance is the state of the art methodology for recovering from an attack.

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