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Artificial Intelligence

Cybersecurity Defences Employing AI Can Combat Threats with Greater Speeds

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Emile Abou Saleh, the Senior Director for Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Proofpoint, says a proactive approach to cybersecurity robustly protects organizations against a wide range of threats in an increasingly complex digital landscape

What have we achieved so far in terms of use case scenarios of Gen AI in the realm of cybersecurity?
Generative AI has gained considerable attention in the news lately, and like any new technology, there’s a lot of excitement around it. Today’s Generative AI tools go beyond traditional chatbots; they are becoming more advanced. Generative AI’s potential reaches far and wide, benefiting professionals across different industries. Financial advisers can use it to analyze market trends, educators can tailor lessons to students’ needs, and it’s also proving useful in the field of cybersecurity. Security analysts can leverage Generative AI to examine user behaviour and detect patterns that could indicate potential data breaches.

One of the standout features of Generative AI in cybersecurity is its ability to quickly and accurately process vast amounts of data related to emerging threats. Security administrators can use these tools to run queries quickly, and in just a few minutes, these tools can summarize current credential compromise threats and highlight specific indicators to watch out for.

Why according to you should cybersecurity companies leverage generative AI?
Our lives and work cultures are forever changed, with so many people working and interacting digitally—and the velocity of business and the volume of corporate data we generate growing exponentially, across multiple digital platforms.

Many organizations across all industries have found that implementing artificial intelligence (AI) into business systems has helped them to ensure continuity, with one main aspect being increased productivity. When looking at this from a cybersecurity point of view, there are many ways AI and machine learning (ML) can bolster an organization’s overall cybersecurity posture.

Today’s threat landscape is characterized by attackers preying on human vulnerability. Proofpoint research shows that nearly 99% of all threats require some sort of human interaction. Whether it is malware-free threats such as the different types of Business Email Compromise (BEC) or Email Account Compromise (EAC) like payroll diversion, account takeover, and executive impersonation, or malware-based threats, people are falling victim to these attacks day-in and day-out. And all it takes is one click, from one employee for a threat actor to infiltrate an organization’s systems, no matter how complex the environment.

To stop these types of attacks, organizations need to deploy a security solution that can stay ahead of the ever-changing landscape and adapt to the way humans act. AI and ML are critical components in a robust cybersecurity detection strategy. It’s faster and more effective than manual analysis and can quickly adapt to new and evolving threats and trends. Cybersecurity defences that employ AI can combat such threats with greater speed, relying on data and learnings from previous, similar attacks to predict and prevent their spread.

What are the cybersecurity challenges facing companies with the adoption of AI and how can they be overcome?
With the adoption of AI, organizations face a set of cybersecurity challenges that need immediate attention. While AI has shown remarkable progress in defending against common threats, it has also opened doors for cybercriminals.

Take phishing: AI has the potential to supercharge this threat, increasing the speed and accuracy in which these phishing emails are sent to victims. However, it’s important to remember that many social engineering emails aren’t designed to be “perfect” – they are intentionally written poorly to find people who are more likely to engage.

That’s also only one part of the threat. Headers, senders, attachments, and URLs are among the many other threat indicators that are analyzed by robust detection technologies. Even where there would be a substantial benefit to having better-crafted emails, like many business email compromise scenarios, there is a lot of other information the threat actor needs to have access to. They need to know who is paying what money to whom and at what dates, which they probably have already accessed in a different way. They don’t necessarily need AI assistance when they already have access to that person’s inbox and they can merely copy an old email.

It’s crucial for organizations to note that no matter the attack vector, or how complex it is, the majority of cyberattacks require human interaction to be successful. By tricking just one employee, threat actors can circumvent security tools and siphon sensitive corporate data. Organizations must implement a people-centric cybersecurity strategy, consistently training employees at all levels of the business, in cybersecurity best practices so they are aware of the latest cyber threats and are able to detect them, report them, and not fall victim to them.

How can organizations use their resources effectively to leverage Gen AI to gain a competitive edge in the cybersecurity landscape?
To effectively leverage Generative AI and gain a competitive advantage in the cybersecurity landscape, organizations should focus on two vital aspects. It is firstly essential to embrace a people-centric security model for data loss prevention, acknowledging that individuals often play a pivotal role in the movement of data. This approach encompasses content awareness, behavioural analysis, and threat awareness, granting in-depth insights into how employees interact with sensitive data.

Increased visibility facilitates real-time detection and prevention of data loss incidents. Secondly, organizations should integrate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies into their cybersecurity practices. For instance, in email security solutions, AI and ML swiftly identify and thwart phishing campaigns, malicious URLs, imposter messages, and unusual user activity in cloud accounts. A proactive approach to cybersecurity robustly protects organizations against a wide range of threats in an increasingly complex digital landscape.

Artificial Intelligence

ESET’s New AI Assistant Streamlines Threat Detection and Response

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ESET has introduced ESET AI Advisor, an innovative generative AI-based cybersecurity assistant that transforms incident response and interactive risk analysis. First showcased at RSA Conference 2024, the new solution is now available as part of the ESET PROTECT MDR Ultimate subscription tier and ESET Threat Intelligence.

Unlike other vendor offerings and typical generative AI assistants that focus on soft features like administration or device management, ESET AI Advisor seamlessly integrates into the day-to-day operations of security analysts, conducting in-depth analysis. Building on over two decades of ESET’s expertise in AI-driven endpoint protection, the offering provides detailed incident data and SOC team-level advisory. This is a game-changer for companies with limited IT resources who want to utilize the advantages of advanced Extended Detection and Response (XDR) solutions and threat intelligence feeds.

“As cybersecurity threats become increasingly sophisticated, ESET remains committed to providing cutting-edge solutions that address these challenges. The ESET AI Advisor module represents a significant leap forward in our mission to close the cybersecurity skills gap and empower organizations to safeguard their digital assets effectively,” said Juraj Malcho, Chief Technology Officer at ESET.

One of the primary benefits of this new solution is closing the cybersecurity skills gap. Security analysts of all skill levels can use ESET AI Advisor to conduct interactive risk identification, analysis, and response capabilities, which are provided in an easily understandable format. The user-friendly interface makes sophisticated threat data actionable even for less experienced IT and security professionals.

The ESET AI Advisor also excels in facilitating faster decision-making for critical incidents. Security analysts can simply consult the ESET AI Advisor to understand the specific threats their environment faces. Leveraging extensive XDR collected data, the ESET AI Advisor identifies and analyzes potential malware threats, providing intuitive insights into their behaviour and impact. It assists in recognizing phishing attempts and advising users on how to avoid falling victim to fraudulent emails or websites. By monitoring network traffic, the ESET AI Advisor can flag unusual or suspicious behaviour, helping security teams take appropriate action. Its ability to automate repetitive tasks is an additional advantage. Managing routine processes such as data collection, extraction, and basic threat detection, allows security teams to focus on more strategic initiatives.

In ESET Threat Intelligence, the new module will help researchers analyze vast quantities of unique APT reports and understand latest developments in world of cyber threats. With its conversational prompts and interactive dialogue, ESET AI Advisor empowers organizations to analyze and mitigate threats effortlessly and fortify their cybersecurity posture.

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Artificial Intelligence

VAST and CISCO Simplify AI Infrastructure for Enterprises

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VAST Data, at Cisco Live 2024, announced it is collaborating with Cisco and NVIDIA on a solution to offer enterprises simple, ​​high-performance AI infrastructure coupled with an Ethernet-based AI fabric to handle large volumes of data at an exabyte scale. Through this new relationship, the VAST Data Platform, which offers unified storage, database and data-driven function engine services built for AI, becomes the first data platform optimized and supported with Cisco Nexus HyperFabric.

VAST Data will join this ecosystem integrating with the first Cisco cloud-management solution for data center networking to orchestrate, deploy and manage the stack. Leveraging VAST APIs and pulling both network and storage telemetry back to Cisco Nexus HyperFabric, Cisco customers can now monitor and correlate performance and latency to optimize complex applications.

Cisco Nexus HyperFabric AI clusters are designed to help enterprises build AI data centres using NVIDIA accelerated computing – including NVIDIA Tensor Core GPUs, NVIDIA BlueField-3 DPUs and SuperNICs, and NVIDIA AI Enterprise software – with Cisco networking and the VAST Data Platform. The solution provides end-to-end visibility of compute, networking, storage and data management to allow organizations to seamlessly build and scale their AI operations.

The Cisco Nexus HyperFabric AI Cluster solution also seamlessly integrates VAST’s DASE (Disaggregated Shared Everything) architecture, which is also powered by NVIDIA BlueField DPUs, a collaboration recently announced with NVIDIA. Generative AI requires unprecedented scale and performance to provide incredibly fast access to data, driving enterprise IT buyers to invest heavily in Ethernet networking technologies.

According to IDC, the Ethernet switching market has been impacted significantly by the growing number of enterprise AI deployments, with the overall market rising 20.1% in 2023 to $44.2 billion. With NVIDIA and VAST Data, Cisco can consolidate compute resources, storage and data management capabilities with Ethernet-powered AI network fabrics to offer innovative connectivity with unparalleled programmability, performance, flexibility, and efficiency in order to meet the considerable demands of today’s AI/ML platforms.

“This is the year of the enterprise for AI. Traditionally, enterprises have been slower to adopt new technologies because of the difficulty of integrating new systems into existing systems and processes. This collaboration with Cisco and NVIDIA makes it simple for enterprises to implement AI as they move from proof of concept to production,” said Renen Hallak, CEO and co-founder of VAST Data. “It’s an honor to be selected by Cisco as their premier storage partner for their AI infrastructure and it’s even more exciting that this is because our customers advocated for this partnership.”

“Business innovation is accelerating with AI applications, requiring efficient, high-speed access to massive data sets,” said Jonathan Davidson, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Networking. “With an ecosystem approach that now includes VAST Data and NVIDIA, Cisco helps our enterprise customers tackle their most difficult and complex networking, data and security challenges to build AI infrastructures at any scale with confidence.”

VAST has also certified Cisco Nexus Ethernet-based switches with the VAST Data Platform, delivering validated designs to ensure a seamless deployment experience with the highest levels of support for joint customers. The private cloud-managed Cisco Nexus Dashboard offers innovative congestion management with flow control algorithms and visibility with real-time telemetry. Through this collaboration and validation, and as customers implement the Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches into their storage fabric, Cisco and VAST deliver the scale, speed and efficiency necessary to support AI applications, and are simplifying network management and operations across all infrastructure endpoints.

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Microsoft Showcases AI for Secure Digital Transformation at GISEC 2024

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Microsoft is showcasing its commitment to leveraging the power of AI to empower digital transformation journeys while ensuring cyber resilience at GISEC 2024. “The AI revolution has been remarkable and exciting to witness, but it has also presented a growing amount of risk,” said Naim Yazbeck, General Manager of Microsoft UAE. “Increasingly, we are seeing attackers launch highly sophisticated cyberattacks, making it imperative for organizations to bolster their cybersecurity defences and stay vigilant to safeguard sensitive data and maintain operational resilience. At Microsoft, we believe that innovation in AI-powered cyber defence can help reverse the current rising tide of cyberattacks. We are committed to building an AI-based cyber shield that will protect customers and countries around the world, and at GISEC Global 2024, we are showcasing how our comprehensive portfolio of security solutions can achieve that while helping organizations stay ahead of evolving threats.”

Microsoft’s Hub at GISEC Global 2024 consists of a VIP Demo Area, a Surface Zone, a Glambot Activation, a Networking Area, and a Food & Beverage Area. The company is demonstrating alongside nine partners, including QuorumCyber, Trustwave, Wizard Group, 42Crunch, BPS, Commvault, Fortinet, Rubrik, and Github.

At the heart of Microsoft’s showcase is Copilot for Security, the industry’s first generative AI solution designed to help security and IT professionals protect their organizations at the speed and scale of AI while remaining compliant with responsible AI principles. Made generally available on April 1, 2024, users can ask Copilot for Security questions in natural language and receive actionable responses to common security and IT tasks in seconds.

Ahmad El Dandachi, Enterprise Commercial Director at Microsoft UAE, commented “AI greatly enhances our ability to detect and defeat cyberattacks. With Copilot for Security, we are shifting the balance of power by empowering defenders to optimize their defence approach and turn hours and days spent digging through data into minutes of quick analysis and strategic decision-making. The solution is informed by large-scale data and threat intelligence, including more than 78 trillion security signals processed by Microsoft each day, and coupled with large language models to deliver tailored insights and guide the next steps. With Copilot, security teams can confidently lead their organizations into the age of AI.”

In addition to Copliot for Security, Microsoft is also demonstrating Microsoft Defender, Sentinel, Purview, Entra, Priva, Intune, and other innovations designed to advance cybersecurity protection for organizations. All of Microsoft’s solutions are backed by the company’s aggressive commitment to responsible AI development, underpinned by its Responsible AI principles used to develop and deploy every solution.

GISEC Global 2024 is set to attract more than 20,000 attendees from over 130 countries to the Dubai World Trade Center. Taking place until April 25th, the event provides a platform for more than 750 brands to showcase their innovations.

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