Is it Next-Gen or Post-Truth technology?

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Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and next-gen in relation to security are buzz words designed to make us feel we’re one, or even two steps ahead of cybercriminals.

Security evolves over time, improving with enhancements and new technologies. Creating a layered approach, just as we have in our cars. A lap belt transformed into a three-point seat belt, then the front airbag was supplemented with side airbags. The evolution continued with sensors and collision avoidance systems which will be in 99% of U.S. Automobiles by 2022. At no time did any manufacturer suggest removing the seat belt and only having a single layer of protection.

Machine learning is an artificial intelligence application, focusing on making decisions by learning from data. In the context of security this means not only malicious samples but also clean and potentially unwanted applications.

The purpose of our whitepaper ‘Fighting post-truth with reality in cyber security’ is to take an in-depth look at the complexities surrounding machine learning and why on its own it is unable to provide the absolute security some vendors are claiming.

Exploring why established security vendors, such as ESET, has been using supervised machine learning for many years. Using human oversight and training the automated detection capabilities that are used in endpoint protection products.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are, undoubtedly, creating a new chapter in the digital revolution. When security is the goal it needs to be part of the solution rather than a replacement for the established protection layers. The introduction of a wrongly categorized sample could cause critical damage to a business, stopping it function as expected. The paper explores why math on its own is not enough and the risk of falsely identifying a threat as clean or something legitimate as bad.

Recent threats, such a WannaCryptor ransomware, highlight the need for trustworthy security that can provide organizations and individuals with peace of mind. However, we understand that a concerned CEO believing that the next-gen golden ticket that he has heard about will provide absolute security needs to have detailed and factual reasoning on why placing trust in one technology will increase either the risk of infection or potentially cause a devastating false positive. 

We hope that reading this white paper will give you the insight and guidance needed to make an informed decision on the best way to protect your business. 

Tony Anscombe, Global Security Evangelist