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You pretty much still need to be playing Pong to miss the growing cybersecurity challenges organizations face today.

As long as there have been data, people have tried to get at and manipulate information that they’re not entitled to. That’s what spying is about. Mischief is old-school, too: A 1903 presentation by radio inventor Guglielmo Marconi was hacked with Morse code during a presentation of his wireless telegraph to the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Hacking has even been used for good: In 1943, French demographer René Carmille was able to sabotage punch cards containing census records, preventing the occupying Germans from identifying Jews for deportation to death camps. Businesses have been rethinking security for a long time: Equifax is in the news today for its 147 million record hack, but in 1984, 90 million records were stolen from TRW Information Systems and Services (now known as Experian).

It’s way more complex today – but artificial intelligence (AI) looks to be the tool that can help. Threats come in a wide range of types and from an ever-increasing range of places. Even identifying an intrusion or attack can take an abundance of data and require heaps of time. The benefit of AI is its ability to learn and adjust.

There are four key ways AI can solve cybersecurity problems.

  1. AI is cost-effective. As it learns, it can judge, just as a human can, except faster, which threats are fatal and which are unimportant – whether in the real world or the cyber world. More threats can be discovered, too. The end result is that response time to threats is substantially reduced. Already AI is accepted by businesses, with 61% saying they can’t do without it to protect themselves and their data.
  2. AI tackles complexity. Enterprises today don’t run on the same hardware using the same software all in the same location. There are desktop devices and laptop devices, mobile phones and tablets, web servers and application servers. They often use different operating systems from different vendors. Applications may be proprietary, might be sourced from a third party, or might even be something acquired off the shelf. AI can interact with all to provide the necessary protection, especially with highly vulnerable applications.
  3. AI tackles old stuff. There are elements of your digital library that may exist unchanged since they were first written. When functional, it can be vulnerable. That’s especially so the more other parts of your software it interacts with. Because it was created before modern security threats, it has survived without protective updates and can be highly hackable.
  4. AI tackles bugs. When your existing code is not functional, it’s a bug. Known bugs provide inviting targets for damage by outside forces. Improper system behavior, communication problems, missing commands, improper error handling, control flow, and poor calculation logic may already exist – or may be created.
  5. AI handles threats both internal and external. Not all security problems are external. Human error is always a possibility. If there’s a problem, the AI will persistently run it down and call it out.

Remember: You are not too small or too big to be attacked digitally. An unhappy employee, a badly trained temp, an ex-employee with a grudge, a competitor without scruples – all of these are possible holes in your security. Some holes are small; some will destroy your business. With your very survival at risk, you need to call on the best tools for defense. Right now, AI is the best available tool.  To find out more about cybersecurity, contact the experts at NENS.

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