Can AI and Automation Outsmart Your Network Security?

February 24, 2017//Ellen Neveux

Last Updated: November 18, 2020

Artificial Intelligence is a great tool – except when it isn’t. The good news is that sophisticated AI algorithms can now identify suspicious software, content, and users, which frees up your network personnel to focus on preventative action and novel attacks. The bad news is that the bad guys are using similar technology against your network security.

The question is, which side is winning the AI battle?

Black Hat and White Hat network monitoring tools
In October 2016, then-Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper delivered a threat assessment that addressed both the good and the bad news about artificial intelligence:

“The increased reliance on AI for autonomous decision-making is creating new vulnerabilities to cyberattacks and influence operations. Efficiency and performance benefits can be derived from increased reliance on AI systems…

“However, AI systems are susceptible to a range of disruptive and deceptive tactics that might be difficult to anticipate or quickly understand.”

The truth is that, despite the detection capabilities offered by AI, hackers are sometimes getting around it. By using machine learning to repeatedly test network defenses, along with some old-fashioned social engineering, hackers can successfully target your network vulnerabilities.

For example, the highly regulated healthcare industry manages data that is lucrative when stolen and sold.  One glance at the latest roll call of network breaches from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirms the need for more secure healthcare IT support.

Taking advantage of AI – but recognizing the threat
The real issue is knowing how to best use artificial intelligence, how to protect against it, and also how to recognize threat patterns in your own domain. As Zulfikar Ramzan of RSA Security points out in a recent article, “…it’s not enough to just have a data science background—you need an intersection of data science and domain expertise.”

On a practical level, this drives home the need for focused remote access solutions that identify and prevent potential risk. At the same time, it’s essential to keep a higher human perspective on how a network is being trained by another machine to become vulnerable.

Sounds complicated? It is. Just keep in mind that artificial intelligence is a powerful, developing set of tools that can both help and harm your data network.

Want to secure your network from third-party invaders? Check out this real-life example of how SecureLink helped Medical Center Hospital create a standardized method for controlling vendor access as well as comprehensive, historic audit trails of all vendor activity.

About SecureLink

Our sole focus is secure third-party remote access. For highly regulated enterprise organizations, SecureLink Enterprise has pioneered a secure remote access platform. SecureLink for enterprise allows an organization to identify, control, and audit third-party vendors. For vendors, SecureLink is the gold standard remote access support platform because it is easy, efficient, and ensures compliance and reduces liability when supporting customers.

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