Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Cloud Security, @DXWorldExpo, @ThingsExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Hacking Wars & #MachineLearning at @CloudExpo | #ML #IoT #M2M #BigData

There is no doubt: machine learning technology has amazing potential in the cybersecurity place

It feels like the barbarians are continually at the gate. We can't seem to go more than a week before a new data breach is in the news, impacting potentially millions of individuals. The targets range from companies like Omni Hotels, which had been breached affecting up to 50,000 customers whose personal and credit card information was exposed, to North Carolina State University, where over 38,000 students' personal information, including their SSNs, were at risk. As I mentioned in a recent blog ‘Internet of Things and Big Data - who owns your data?', we have been storing our personal and credit card information in a variety of systems, credit card companies, banks, online retailers, hotels - and that's just naming a few. The information in those systems is more valuable than gold to the hackers. The hacker attacks are constant, creative, and changing frequently.

Preparing to prevent, detect, and respond to these barrage of attacks is a daunting task. This is not meant to be a doom and gloom, the sky is falling discussion. It is just a reality of networked systems. Our challenge as technologists is to help the business understand the risks, the tools and processes needed to help protect and respond. One of the new tools entering the conversation is machine learning. Let's take a look at the challenges and how machine learning may be a valuable asset in the battle.

Walking the tightrope over a tank of hungry sharks
Protecting a business's data and systems from the barrage of hack attacks is a daunting challenge. It's always a delicate balance of cost, risk, and benefit. Additionally, we must balance protecting the data while ensuring those that need access, have access. As many who have read my blogs know, one of my favorite phrases is, "Everything is a tradeoff." There is no one size fits all solution.

Sadly, we have all seen the situation where many companies operate in reactive mode. When a high profile breach occurs, it's all hands on deck. Are we at risk? What are our security and response measures? New plans are drawn up for the situation - everyone feels great and the situation is under control. As the memory of the breach fades, the plans are not revisited. That is, until the next high profile breach.

Part of the challenge is the rapidly changing, disruptive technology environment we work in. Things are moving at breakneck speeds. Connected devices growing at exponential rates. This introduces potential new risks we may not even be aware of. To keep up with that rapid pace requires resources, which are also required to help develop new functionality and provide business value to the company. Striking the balance is not easy. Hackers' resources are focused on one thing, and one thing only, finding the holes in that disruptive environment. Hence, the tightrope and the shark tank.

Entering from stage right, machine learning
One of the new technologies entering the conversation lately is machine learning. Gartner identified machine learning as one of the top 10 technology trends for 2016. It is definitely a hot topic. The goal of machine learning sounds simple: provide systems with the ability to learn based on the information provided them. There are two key things to make the magic happen

  • Complex algorithms that allow the system to develop its own analytical models based on inputs. Those models are constantly changing based on the information provided.
  • Data. Lots of data to fuel these algorithmic engines and the models they produce. The more data, the more accurate the models developed (i.e. the more the machine learns).

Imagine if you could leverage that capability to help deal with your cybersecurity risks and challenges. Machine learning tools that are constantly receiving information about changes in your systems, access to your systems, other breach attacks, information about risk points, security patches. The potential benefits could help make sure you are staying on that tightrope.

Machine Learning is already in the cybersecurity space
While still it its infancy, vendors have already started leveraging machine learning to aid in the hacking wars.

No technology is a silver bullet
There is no doubt - machine learning technology has amazing potential in the cybersecurity place. I welcome it as a powerful addition to my tool box.  That being said, it is not a silver bullet. It is one of many tools in a toolbox. As technologists it is our responsibility to understand what the underlying business needs are related to security. What data needs protection and at what level. No technology negates the need for good design and planning, machine learning in the cybersecurity space is no different. These are exciting times in the technology space. With the right tools, design, and planning, we can help bring value to the business, and provide the level of protection needed in this rapidly changing space.

More Stories By Ed Featherston

Ed Featherston is VP, Principal Architect at Cloud Technology Partners. He brings 35 years of technology experience in designing, building, and implementing large complex solutions. He has significant expertise in systems integration, Internet/intranet, and cloud technologies. He has delivered projects in various industries, including financial services, pharmacy, government and retail.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...