Leveraging AI and Machine Learning to Enhance Cybersecurity
Threat actors are always innovating and looking for new ways to exploit systems. One of the worrying trends in recent months has been the rise of supply chain attacks, where hackers target the weaker links in a supply chain network, such as third-party vendors who may not have robust cybersecurity practices in place.
The SolarWinds attack, which impacted everyone from Fortune 500 companies to government agencies, may have been the most high-profile example, but they’re far from the only victim. In July, a number of managed service providers and their customers also became victims of a supply chain-style ransomware attack when REvil group hit software provider Kaseya.
So are supply chain attacks going to be the next frontier in cyber warfare? Not necessarily, said Eric Byres, CTO of aDolus Technology, but not for the reason you think.
“It’s not even the next; it is the frontier,” Byres said. “We’re here now. I gave a talk a little while ago saying, ‘God help us if ransomware meets supply chain attacks,’ because the ransomware people can just attack one company and get ransomware into 100 companies. And sure enough, Kaseya did that. … And that was the whole idea — basically, taking advantage of one weak supplier of a network management package, and because all their customers trusted that they were getting good software, suddenly they were accepting what was effectively ransomware into their companies.”
A supply chain cyberattack looks to inflict damage by targeting less secure elements in the supply chain. They’re especially insidious in the software industry because most companies don’t know — or don’t even know they need to know — which components go into making their commercial software packages. All the major manufacturers purchase components from third-party providers, so when buying the software, the company is, in essence, buying a product from every vendor in the supply chain. If one vendor has lax security, that can put everyone at risk.
Supply chain attacks are definitely on the rise. In the last year, there has been about a 430% increase in supply chain attacks, said Byres, and he suspects that trend line will be the same next year. Couple that with an alarming uptick in ransomware attacks, and no one is truly safe.
One of the biggest hurdles to maintaining strong industrial cybersecurity isn’t finding the right technology to keep attackers out; it’s controlling the human factor. As the threat landscape matures and hackers become savvier — and especially as factors like 5G networks and artificial intelligence (AI) come into play — it’s getting harder for humans to keep up. That’s why it’s so important to start supplementing your human and technological cyber defenses with AI. New machine learning and AI technologies can help protect IT and OT systems detect threats sooner and respond to them more quickly. AI can work faster, at greater scale and can handle sophistication in a way human beings simply can’t. This webcast will discuss how AI can improve threat detection, why it’s especially valuable for OT and how to choose the products that work best for your organization.
- Examine human weaknesses and how AI can help manage threats
- Explain why OT especially can benefit from AI
- Cover how the new tools and technologies work
- Offer advice for evaluating tools and vendors offering AI/machine learning solutions
Gary Cohen, Senior Editor, CFE Media and Technology
Keywords: IT, information technology, OT, operational technology, cybersecurity, firewall, IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things, operations technology, cyberattacks, infosec, manufacturing, vulnerabilities