Soon, your most important security expert won’t be a person

Hollywood images of artificial intelligence – and the iconic familiars of HAL 9000, the Terminator and Her’s Samantha – have shaped the public perception of artificial intelligence (AI) as a vessel for human-like interaction. Yet with AI’s resurgence applying the technology to all manner of business problems, security specialists are rapidly warming to its potential as a fastidious assistant that works tirelessly to pick eyedroppers of insight from raging rivers of information. This learning process has evolved from the refinement of big-data techniques feeding a surfeit of rich data sets to ever more sophisticated machine-learning solutions. Automated security systems now apply AI techniques to massive databases of security logs, building baseline behavioural models for different days and times of the week; if particular activity strays too far from this norm, it can be instantly flagged, investigated, and actioned in real time. As security practitioners are well aware, the flood of security alerts has become a logistical nightmare. Figures in Cisco’s recent 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report (ACR) suggest that 44 percent of security operations managers see more than 5000 security alerts per day. The average organisation can only investigate 56 percent of daily security alerts – 28 percent of which are…

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