You more than I have probably seen the increase in automation and machine learning in all products in the market, especially with the introduction of Cloud Technologies. We have seen the start of self-driving cars, personal assistants like Alexa and Siri and very soon we may even be living in the movie The Terminator! Everything has become automated to make things easier and more efficient. Automation has naturally extended to the security area, where by more and more products are adopting automatic remedial actions and concepts such as machine learning to combat the ever-growing cyber threats.
Even before Cloud we have seen various forms of Automation with things like scripting repetitive tasks, this evolved into things like runbooks and orchestration, and this has led us to Machine Learning and AI. However, on the other side, we have also seen attackers build scripts and build botnets to automate reconnaissance and even launch attacks and exploits in a shotgun-based way. Its only a matter of time before attackers start working with technologies such as machine learning and AI to increase the accuracy and impact of their attacks. Put it this way, if we are doing it then hackers are doing it, or they are not very far behind from doing it.
With this automation and machine learning element we would expect that everything is much more secure than before, however the reality is that businesses are still being breached and data is still being leaked. It’s a cat and mouse game between the attackers and the defenders, the minute we raise the bar with advanced security we have a breach that raises the bar even further. The bar that we have risen is Machine Learning, which can only mean that attackers are already using Machine Learning and have built upon this to increase attack throughput and discover what to attack, who to attack and when to attack.
Enough of the fear, what can we do about it?
In short, we need to be more open when adopting technologies that incorporate machine learning to quickly counter new threats and make smart decisions on our behalf. We may be a step ahead now (Or are we), but it’s only a matter of time before attacks become much more sophisticated and leverage machine learning or is able to bypass our Machine Learning. If you haven’t thought about Machine Learning, then now might be the time to investigate and understand how you can protect yourself more! Its only a matter of time before its Machine Vs. Machine in the Cyber world.
In my next article I am going to investigate into some of the newer tools and products on the market that use Machine Learning to help protect us and detect attacks that most people would otherwise miss or take too long to find. There are a number to choose from which shows good adoption of the technology and gives us hope that Machine Learning might be the next protector of our IT Infrastructure and might even be treated as a member of the team!
Thanks for reading.