Artificial Intelligence Steps-up Role in Computer Security – Companies Falling Behind in Security Wars
Google has a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that can zoom and clear-out pixelated faces like real-life CSI, are you ready for this technology? What are the pros and cons of this evolving AI technology?
Real-life CSI: Google’s new AI system unscrambles pixelated faces
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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
Airing date: 02/14/2017
Artificial Intelligence Steps Up Role in Computer Security – Companies Falling Behind in Security War
Craig Peterson: I was thinking back this week to some of the very first attacks that I had at the time when I was under attack. It has been some thirty years, I think, since the very first hack attack against me and my business. A long, long time. And just again, putting it in context here, it drives me crazy, right? So I have some hope. We’re going to talk about what that hope is. You know, I’ve talked before about what I’m doing with Cisco. We got some really cool stuff. But IBM has brought a new partner to the dance. So we’ll talk a little bit about that as well as companies in Canada here. If you think you are all alone in not being able to handle the type of security that you need, maybe you’re not. So we’ll talk a little bit about that as well. So some things you can do as we give you little bit of a TechSanity Check to help keep your information safe, particularly if you’re a business. Here we go.
You know there’s nothing like that feeling you get when you realize you’ve been hacked. When you realize that someone has had access to information that you didn’t necessarily want anyone have information about. Maybe just don’t know what they got and that’s enough to drive you crazy. It is just like coming home and finding someone has been in your house. A thief, a robber, whatever it might have been and you don’t really know what they might have stolen. Well, there’s some ways to figure that out.
First of all, how do you even know someone’s being there? The easiest way to do, and I got this from some true experts in the field of physical security, is you put a fish bowl on a little table right there in the front hall inside your front door and you put a $20 bill in there. If a bad guy is in your home and is stealing stuff from you, they will take the $20 bill. Even if all they did was go upstairs to the master bedroom and find the jewelry and walk out with it, they will grab that $20 bill. So there you go. There is a sign that someone bad has been here. How about your business? Do you know if someone has come into your home, your business, and stolen something? Any idea what they stole? It gets very, very difficult. It’s hard to tell. So let’s talk about something that can tell.
There is a concept in security called honey pots. You might have heard of this before, but the whole idea behind honey pots, and you know frankly, that I haven’t used them in such a long time because so much of what we have now for protecting systems is so good. But what a Honeypot does is it sits there by your front door and it looks very vulnerable. And it looks very tasty and the bad guy is very likely to try and get into the honey pot. We’ve done it with a number of different ways before. We have honey pots that look like they’re crazed supercomputers. We have honey pots that look like they’re old Windows XP machines so that when a bad guy gets on the network and sees that, whether it’s an automated system they’re using or it’s someone physically on your system who’s poking around, they’re going to see that honey pot and they’re going to attack it. Now once it’s attacked or once it’s even under attack, you know someone’s in your system. It sets off alarms. It shuts them down. Or in some cases you might want to see what they’re doing in your network. So you watch little bit more closely. We’ve used those for well more than a decade for some of our clients. Us, ourselves, we just have some really, really good security in place. But it reminds me, I should probably put honey pots back up because they can be so effective.
Well you’ve heard of Watson, IBM’s Watson that is. It played Jeopardy. It was a Jeopardy champion. It was just amazing. And Watson was designed to go over terabytes worth of data. Just tons of data. And when it came to Jeopardy, they had grabbed Wikipedia. They grabbed some dictionaries. They grabbed some other stuff. They had Watson comb through it and try and find relations and then it play Jeopardy. IBM now has Watson doing similar things in the medical world. Looking for cures for different types of cancers. And apparently is having some success. Well IBM has just now announced that they’ve got a brand new little weapon when it comes to security. And that is Watson. They’re calling it Watson for cyber security. It was announced by IBM on Monday, so frankly, just yesterday. And it is really kind of cool. This is cognitive software, in other words, it’s artificial intelligence. It looks through your logs and looks at your systems and it tries to figure out whether or not you are under attack or have been attacked and what has happened as result of that attack? So it’s very, very handy. It apparently has found some situations where normally the IT staff that is inundated with thousands and thousands of these log events every day, hundreds of thousands in the case of bigger organizations, just missed them or might have thought they were false positives. So IBM lists for particular ones where it was laptops of senior officers within the company that had been attacked, have been compromised and no one was aware of it.
So as we go forward, I’m looking forward to these AI systems really being able to help you and I out and I’m looking forward to the day when they’re help us out as end users. So that we can get the modem from our local cable provider for instance. So they’re providing us with internet and at the same time they’re watching all of our traffic for us and not the big brother sort of a way, but looking for the bad stuff. So we you have some tech like that already as I mentioned that we’re reselling from Cisco. We’re offering it as a service. But it’s going to become more and more available and cheaper and cheaper as the artificial intelligence machine learning takes over some of those jobs. So, you know, if you’re in that business make sure you keep up on this because it might sneak up behind you.
Now if you are a company and you’re worried about cybersecurity, you’re not alone. There is a study that just came out from Scalar Decisions Inc. They looked at more than 300, excuse me, 650 Canadian IT workers who were monitoring security. Their job included security functions including some people that were specifically just security. And they found that confidence continues to decline amongst his Canadian companies for the third year in a row. These companies are at the point now where they believe that they are losing this quickly evolving war on security. Fewer and fewer of them think that they’re winning it and I think that’s good because you have to have awareness, right? You have to have awareness before you can solve the problem. The average number of reported attacks on Canadian organizations rose to an average of 44 attacks per year and nearly 30% since the initial survey in 2014. Now just based on that 44 attacks per year, that’s nuts. You know we see in small companies 44 attacks per minute. So they probably are referring to heavy attacks that maybe had some… made some headway, let me put it that way. The vast majority of respondents also report that both the severity and sophistication of the attacks are increasing that goes back to yesterday on my daily where I talked about the IRS and what they’re warning about here on the business email compromise. I talked about that quite a bit.
If you’re interested in more of those stats, you’ll find it of course on my website http://CraigPeterson.com. Thanks for listening. Gotta run. Call it short today. Gotta get over this cold. Have a great day and hopefully we will chat a little bit tomorrow. Bye bye.
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