Adaptive Technology: The Future of Cybersecurity

    26th Mar 2019
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    The new millennium is all about evolution and migration, whether it's people, data, or both. The rapid transition from fixed work spaces to virtual office environments and highly integrated, voice-based services means more freedom than ever.


    We're no longer chained to desks.


    Even our home systems can be controlled remotely. With the development of the internet of things (IoT) and other smart technologies, home and office systems learn to anticipate our needs and self-adapt to our preferences or changing conditions.


    Cyber criminals are on the move too, though, and they're often one step ahead of the law. Updating anti-virus software or installing high-tech security in the physical realm is no longer enough when it comes to risk management.


    The Down-Side of Modern Technology

    In order to remain viable in the age of increased mobility, companies of all sizes are transforming outdated legacy systems into newer, more agile frameworks that are located in cyberspace. This allows businesses to become leaner and more efficient, improves customer service, and enables a more collaborative work environment that transcends time and geographic location.


    However, there's a downside to all of this accessibility.


    The advent of cloud computing and IoT/IIoT not only places previously unheard of amounts of data out in the ether, it widens the range and availability of targets for those with malicious intent. This boon to efficiency brings with it new threats to data integrity that could also affect your bottom line, such as:


    1 Placing large amounts of sensitive data from financial and healthcare systems, favorite targets for hackers, in a vulnerable position.


    2 Endangering corporate compliance with HIPAA and other privacy regulations.


    3 Opening companies up to legal and financial penalties resulting from data leaks and breaches, which also diminishes public trust.


    Mobile business environments and the rise of practices like bring your own device (BYOD) also means haphazard or spotty security, increases the incidences of weak authentication and privacy protections, and leads to increased cost when traditional security needs continual upgrades to meet evolving threats and conditions.


    Enter adaptive security.


    When AI Meets Tradition: New Tech for a New Millennium

    Traditionally, cybersecurity has been a static system. You purchase anti-virus and anti-malware programs, maybe install a virtual private network to benefit from military-grade encryption and strengthen unauthorized entry to everything using password protection apps for your accounts and devices. Or, perhaps you outsource your security as part of an SaaS subscription. Even if you use automated updates to catch new security threats, you're still depending on someone or something else to manage your data protection, often merely containing and eliminating surface threats as they occur.


    In an age where there are more than 230,000 malware samples created and 4,000 new ransomware attacks initiated every day, that type of security just won't cut it.


    Imagine cybersecurity that's available 24/7/365, without the need for upgrades or human oversight. Security that not only responds to known threats, but anticipates new ones and continually evolves to meet them.


    The Promise of Adaptive Security


    On its face, adaptive security architecture works on all levels to evaluate and respond to external and internal threats in real time. It can automatically scale up or down according to the requirements of your company, providing enforcement that's proportional to the situation at hand.


    It works on a four-layered approach that's designed to monitor enterprise or home systems for signs of malicious activity and unusual traffic or other anomalies, and detect systematic vulnerabilities. It then acts to repel threats before they can penetrate and wreak havoc.


    The methods used are:


    Prevention - to create products, policies, and policies to counteract attacks.


    Detection - to identify attacks not caught in the protective layer, reducing the time needed to detect and react to threats.


    Retrospection - to evaluate detailed information regarding attacks on a deeper level in order to generate a proactive response against future attacks.


    Prediction - alerts IT teams or systems administrators to external threats and monitors hacker activities. This allows the entire security apparatus to anticipate new threats and provides information to enhance security at all other levels.


    These capabilities offer many benefits to enterprises of all sizes, including the ability to:


    ∙ Monitor and respond to attacks in real time

    ∙ Filter and prioritize breaches

    ∙ Reduce the attack surface in order to isolate risk and reduce potential damage

    ∙ Cut resolution time and cost


    Protecting Home and Business Systems: Threat Mitigation in the Age of IoT


    The internet of things makes business more efficient and our home lives more enjoyable. It also brings the dangers of cyberspace right into our physical environments, leaving us more vulnerable. You may not worry about a hacker getting into your home theater or climate control system, but that same Wi-Fi based cloud platform potentially opens a backdoor to your personal information. This includes social security numbers, passwords, and pin numbers for your bank and credit accounts. For business, it leaves employee and customer information vulnerable and compromises sensitive data.


    That is a problem.


    The biggest threats to your security at home and on the job are due to the rise automation.


    These include:


    ∙ The emergence of mobile technology

    ∙ The complexity of IoT

    ∙ Cybersecurity and the threat to public safety

    ∙ Privacy issues with IoT connectivity

    ∙ The threat of increased data volume and accessibility across multiple platforms


    Technology seems to give with one hand and take away with the other.


    Fear not. There are also steps you can take to minimize these threats and enjoy the enhancements that come with emerging tech:


    ∙ Install and deploy a Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS)

    ∙ Use network segmentation to separate guest, business, and private networks

    ∙ Implement policies to segment IoT-enabled devices from guest and private networks

    ∙ Use Unified Threat Management (UTM) hardware to secure traffic across each segment

    ∙ Invest in adaptive security


    AI and Security: What Does the Future Hold?

    Technology doesn't stand still, so why offer a static response to cybersecurity concerns? Evolving threats require scalable solutions. Alongside advancements in cloud computing and AI, the future of cybersecurity lies in developing and implementing agile systems that can predict events and adapt to defend against them in real-time rather than simply containing the damage.


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