AI CYBER SECURITY SOLUTIONS

AI CYBER SECURITY SOLUTIONS

A SAMPLE OF 3 COMPANIES THAT ARE USING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN CYBER DEFENSE

M.Meid / 13th December 2017

A view on Cyber Security and Artificial Intelligence considering
Darktrace
®, Vectra Networks and Patternex®

As the proliferation of cyber attacks and breaches keep on growing, cyber security experts are called upon to make every available option to keep ahead of the hackers. The attacks seem to be growing every second in frequency and sophistications (Maloof, 2013). Previously thought to be secure systems are becoming constant targets and even victims of these cyber attacks. As the hackers record increasing success in their activities, they are becoming bolder and daring as they try to conquer new challenges. New methods are demanded to check and mitigate the dire consequences of such cyber attacks. Security companies are applying the latest cutting edge technology of Artificial Intelligence in coming up with effective cyber security solutions. The uptake, growth and application of this technology has been very fast in the last 3 years.

The stakeholders of the cyber security industry are however not sitting like lame ducks waiting for the next attack to happen. A lot is being done to forestall the cyber attacks even before they happen. The inclusion of AI technology in cyber security has revolutionized the ways to fight hacking. Artificial Intelligence is the technology that involves machine learning and using thoughtful process to take up complicated processes through analyses of some repeated procedures to predict and come up with desirable outcomes (Saeed, 2006). This new technology has seen increased uptake in different areas and more recently in cyber defense with immense success. Many new and already existing companies have integrated this technology to wade off cyber attacks. This means that the virtual world can build an immune system that not only cures the impacts of the attacks but can also stop them even before they happen. There are many such companies that have embraced such technology but for the purpose of this article, only three such companies will be featured.

Among the top of the list of companies that have employed the art of Artificial Intelligence to a huge success is Darktrace®. Started in 2013 in the UK, Darktrace is one of the top cyber defense system manufacturers and has won several awards of excellence in this field this year alone. The company is headquartered in London with some of the directors listed as Robert S Webb as the chairman, Dr Mike Lynch, Han Sikkens among others. Some of the main investors as listed on its website include Invoke Capital, Summit partners, SoftBank Indosat Fund among others. A quick research indicates a company founded on a firm financial foundation and ran professionally with huge profit margins recorded since its inception. This would certainly be the sort of company one would be confident dealing with as a client or as an investor.

In terms of technology, Darktrace boasts of a cutting-edge innovation referred to as Enterprise Immune System. This technology is described as one of the most advanced method of artificial intelligence in cyber security methods. EIS is a complex method that works the same way as the human immune system of analyzing any threats to the body and fighting them before they inflict any major damage whether the threats have been dealt with before or not. This is achieved through complex mathematical analysis of previous system activities and advanced computer programming methods. The process involves the system learning what is normal and standard operations and learning to isolate and deal with any process that seems to deviate from the normal. No previous encounter with a threat is required with the Enterprise Immune System just like in the case of the immune system of humans. This is one attribute that has endeared the EIS to many and large companies that deal with sensitive systems. Many successful cases, as seen on the customer review section of the Darktrace website, have been enumerated. One strong reason for the recommendation of the use of Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune system is its ability to deal with new, complex internal and external threats. As the future of AI in cyber defense is being explored and discussed, no doubt the Enterprise Immune System by Darktrace will occupy a place in the race for honors and market share.

Another company that has made a significant mark in the AI cyber security field is Vectra Networks. Their revolutionary product known as Cognito automated threat detection boasts of reducing the reaction time of serious cyber attacks and threats from days to just minutes. Vectra Networks is an organization majorly dealing with cyber security solutions with its headquarters in San Jose in the US. The listed directors of Vectra include Hitesh Sheth as the president and CEO, Oliver Tavali as chief technology officer, Howie Shohet as CFO among others. The investors include among others Wipro Ventures, Khosla Ventures and IA Ventures. The product Cognito has received wide endorsements by among others, Tony Palmer who is a senior IT validation analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

Duane Smith of tribute Media describes the Cognito as “Threat detection on steroids” to emphasize on its speed and aggression of finding and fighting threats. Cognito is also said to be a software that is able to analyze extensively any cyber security threat. It categorizes the threats according to the level of risk and the magnitude of the attack in terms of probable damage in a neat dashboard (cockpit view). One of the software security analysts quoted on Vectra’s website claims, that Cognito is able to reduce the analysis and reaction time for major attacks by almost 30 times. This is achieved by the application of AI method of automating the otherwise manual and cumbersome methods of collating and analyzing information on attacks to come up with an intervention strategy. Vectra Networks application programming interface (API) claims to be compatible with almost any other security solution. With wide endorsement by many cyber defense consumers and analysts, Vectra Networks Cognito may be one of the best products worth trying out to wade of any potential cyber attack and should be taken into consideration when evaluating potential upgrades to your cyber crime defence line.

Another organization that has heavily invested in the AI technology in cyber defense is Patternex® with its product known as Patternex Virtual Analyst platform. This is a product that works almost in the same as Enterprise Immune System by Darktrace and Cognito by Vectra Networks. Patternex is based in San Jose, USA and has its directors as Ignacio Arnaldo, Wes Connell, Vivasvat Keswani (all of which are senior managers in other software technology companies) among others. The main investor as listed on their website is Kholsa Ventures. This is a fast rising organization having been named as one of the top 16 most innovative companies in 2017 by Security Innovation Network (SINET).

PatternEx Virtual Analyst platform offers security solutions by the application of AI to combat cyber attacks and threats. One among its strengths is its low percentage of false alarm and false threats reporting. By applying AI technology, the reporting of false alarms is quite a big challenge for most product developers. The Patternex makers trains the software mostly on the possible potential threats and the software learns to make a pattern of most of the attacks and threats. This makes the product quite fast and accurate. It may not be able to deal instantly with previously unknown threats, but it is highly effective on what has been previously encountered. With a huge potential for exponential growth, it may be the sort of assurance on the kind of quality the Patternex software may offer.

With the immense growth of AI application in cyber security, a strong recommendation on any of the three products is made as a solution to new and existing cyber security threats.

References

Ferrillo, P. A., & Veltsos, C. (2017). Take back control of your cybersecurity now: Game changing concepts on AI and cyber governance solutions for executives. Advisen.

Maloof, M. A. (2013). Machine Learning and Data Mining for Computer Security: Methods and Applications.

Saeed, K., Mosdorf, R., & Pejas, J. (2006). Biometrics, Computer Security Systems and Artificial Intelligence Applications.

Yampolskiy, R. V. (2016). Artificial superintelligence: A futuristic approach.

http://blog.ventureradar.com/2016/03/11/10-hot-startups-using-artificial-intelligence-in-cyber-security/

https://vectra.ai/

https://www.darktrace.com/technology/

https://www.patternex.com/

How the Blockchain can help make events more secure

Admit one
How the Blockchain can help make events more secure

How the Blockchain can help make events more secure

 

In every industry, there is an opportunist waiting to take advantage of unknowing consumers. The ticket industry is no exception. For decades some unscrupulous individuals have made millions selling fake tickets to fans who want to attend concerts or sports events. There are others who purchase a bulk of tickets to sell off to others at a higher cost. In both instances the behavior is unethical. However, it is almost impossible for ticket companies to stop these illegal practices.

An example is one of Ed Sheeran’s concerts where the initial tickets cost $100, but a few days before the event, an agency started selling fake tickets at $1,000. In other cases the tickets are authentic, but they are acquired for the sole purpose of reselling. These scalpers use bots to make sure they purchase as many tickets as possible. In some cases, the primary ticket-selling company may be selling around 80 percent of the tickets to scalpers.

 

The Blockchain solution

Fortunately, blockchain technology may prove to be the best way to stop ticket scalping and the fraudulent selling of tickets. This is possible using a combination of the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technology.

Fundamentally, Blockchain is based on cryptographic information. It allows the creation of one ledger that is shared between all the different parties in the network. Once the data has been logged in the ledger, it cannot be erased. Additionally, the decentralized nature of the ledger ensures that phishers can not hack it. This gives total security over the information relayed in the ledger.

On the other hand, the IoT is the inter-networking of physical devices that can be used to store collect and exchange data. This has been adopted in many fields as a method of preventing loss of items. It is commonly used in the logistics industry where a product’s information is stored in a small chip connected to it. At every point, the information on the commodities can be verified.

 

How can this be applied to event ticketing

One tactic that can be used is creating a blockchain network where individuals can purchase tickets for concerts of sporting events. Once on the blockchain, each user’s identity is verified, and the tickets are sold to each person depending on their preferences. In the entrance of the event, the individual needs only provide a printout of the ticket along with their ID to prove that they are the person. This is the most straightforward approach.

Another alternative is by selling physical tickets that are loaded with information on the buyer. The identification will ensure that only one individual gets one ticket. These physical cards can have small chips that record the name and a picture of the individual who purchased the ticket. The info can then be relayed to the network using blockchain technology that cannot be compromised by hackers in the same way that traditional database warehousing can. When the individual presents the ticket at the entrance, the information is verified to determine whether they are the true owner.

The first two solutions are very effective when the market does not allow the resale of tickets. However, some countries allow the resale of tickets. Here, the main problem is the mass purchase by scalpers whose only aim is to make a profit from those tickets. How can genuine individuals who want to resell their tickets because they are not attending be differentiated from those who are doing it for business? The simple solution is limiting the quantity and adding the ability to transfer identification information to the buyer.

Blockchain technology can allow the ticket company to record the information of the first buyer in the blockchain. However, if the individual wishes to resell or give the ticket to someone else, the transaction can be recorded using the smart contract feature. This will ensure that there is a trail showing that the first buyer sold or gave the ticket to the second buyer. Blockchain technology can even limit the number of times the ticket can change ownership using the burn algorithm embedded in the blockchain. Since a buyer will only be sold one ticket, this will eliminate scalping.

Blockchain technology can solve the problem of fake tickets or ticket scalping. Already there are small tech startups that have created blockchain networks for ticket-selling companies. It is only a matter of time until the vice is eliminated from the entertainment industry. It will allow genuine fans to get an opportunity to go to sports events or music concerts without paying exorbitant prices. It will also eliminate the fraudulent sale of tickets to secondary ticket companies only to make a profit. Blockchain will offer a truly secure and decentralized approach to the selling of tickets. If the sale has to be done physically, a combination of blockchain and the IoT will ensure that the rightful owner retains the tickets.

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