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Before the world turned upside down in 2020, the cyber security industry was beginning to go through a new stage of innovation – utilizing groundbreaking technology to properly protect consumers against evolving threats. The most promising technology was artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). By 2019 AI and MI started to disrupt all industries, cybersecurity being one of them. As we worked through the pandemic of 2020 it became clear that self-teaching algorithms and intelligent machines significantly impacted the technology we use in the continuous battle against bad actors. While the world and the work environment may have changed, one thing has not and that’s the fact that AI and MI are key components in battling against cyber attacks.

Why?

Proving to be the paradigm shift, AI and ML technologies simply improve cyber security automation. How? Many routine and repetitive jobs are intelligently designed and built into playbooks. Playbooks contain rules for workflows that can be initiated when an event or data access is triggered. Like software programs, playbooks allow users to build complex structures and process logic depending on requirements and desired outcomes. AI- or ML-based micro-engines can also be loaded dynamically during different workflow phases to assist threat hunting, enrich forensic evidence, improve detection accuracy, reduce false positives, automate response ticketing and streamline incident response workflows. This relieves SOC staff, data scientists and admins from tedious and routine tasks and allows them to focus on threat resolution and other business-critical activities.

Listening to the clients and they are READY!

While new technology and adoption of a new methodology can be slow moving within the enterprise, it is no longer the case when it comes to cyber security. CEOs are now understanding that strong security is mission-critical for their success. This is particularly evident in the 2021 PwC 24th Annual CEO Global Survey. When ask to rank the threats they see to their organization’s steady growth, Cyber threats ranked #2 on the list only to be bested by the #1 concern of the pandemic and healthcare crisis. The sentiment is also echoed in a survey of 850 IT professionals done by consulting firm Cap Gemini. Findings showed that 75% of those surveyed believe that AI allowed their organization to respond faster to threats, while 69% thought that AI had become a necessary tool in combating cyber threats.

Looking forward, we, and what we’d encourage others to do, is to continue to focus on AI and ML research, development and integration into their solution portfolio. The industry has been called on by our customers to meet their needs. Those needs are to provide threat prevention, detection and mitigation so that customers have as many tools as possible that are both quick and accurate against cyberattacks. We are now the priority – frankly a place security hasn’t been in a very long time. We at Hillstone truly believe that AI is the tool we’ve all been waiting for that will finally, after 25 years, give us a leg up in 2021 when fighting the bad guys. The time has come as we are ready.

For more on how Hillstone integrates AI in our solution stack, download the AI Driven Threat Defense: The Next Frontier in Cyber Security whitepaper.

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