Disruption has been Toyota’s way but this time it wasn’t the tech giant that was disrupting the market, this time hackers disrupted or rather dented its image forever. March this year Toyota witnessed a breach quake whose deep pervasive fault lines ran far and wide to its 3.1 million customers. But, if you are mistaken into thinking that this was the worst breakdown in the 2019 cybersecurity universe, then you haven’t heard about Citrix. The software giant was slumbering in its hushed sleep of stunted security until the FBI beat the alarm loud and clear up close in its ears - Citrix systems were hacked. Dazed Citrix took 6 months to wake up to the damage and by the time it did, the Iridium-hacker group had stolen over six terabytes of its sensitive internal files. These files included confidential financial details, social security numbers and names of previous employees and their dependents.
The question is - when the gates of gatekeepers are breached then who do we look up to?
Every 39 seconds, a hacker attack happens in the US. Here an outline of the colossal failures that have doddered our lulling business sphere during the past couple of years:
Yahoo’s massive empire crumbled under the weight of heavy-weight data breach of its three billion accounts.
Marriot ill-suited security lost details of its 500 million guests.
LinkedIn was touted as LeakedIn for losing accounts of 117 million members.
The adult network site FriendFinder bared naked details (names, passwords and email addresses) of its 412 million private members out in broad daylight.
Court Ventures lost exclusive data of its 200 million users to just one hacker.
113 million health-conscious FitMetrix users inadvertently shared their fitness details with hackers.
Myspace lost its 360 million accounts before sinking into obscurity.
The list is unending. Massive data breaches of Heartland payments systems (134 million credit card numbers), Equifax (over 145.5 million users payment data) still come to haunt us all. Between 2005 and 2012, Russian hackers barged into credit card/ debit card details of 15 US behemoths.
While cybersecurity debacles in giants like Wipro, Dunkin Donuts and Walmart shuddered our global headlines over and over again, we were forced to swallow the more embarrassing, severe and painful back-breaking cyber-security wrecks in deep uncomfortable silences. The compromised balance sheets of thousands of NGOs and breached data of hundreds of governments towered over to remind us that when it came to cybersecurity we seemed to be lagging eons behind the hackers. The Iridium-hacker group is suspected to have access to over 200+ governments data.
Fortunately, as 2019 ends, AI is showing promising progress in fraud, malware and intrusion detection. It is effectively scoring network risks and conducting behavior analysis of both users and machines, and has emerged as the apt answer to this unrelenting problem. Zero Trust security frameworks eliminate the need for passwords. AI also wins over conventional cybersecurity methods with:
Lesser response time
Lesser cost- around 12% less
Lesser incident time- 12% less
Reduced dwell time (the amount of time a threat remains undetected)- By 11%
Hopes are high. 54% of the global organizations using AI for cybersecurity have reported high-results. 69% of organizations believe AI is needed to address cyber threats. 75% have found AI to be faster than conventional methods. 61% of organizations are already using AI to detect cyber threats. Three out of four analysts have confirmed AI has increased their accuracy and efficiency. 48% of organizations are planning to increase their budget for AI in cybersecurity. Telecom companies are leading the inclusion with 80% integration and are followed by “consumer products (78%) and banking (75%)”. With AI, PetSmart saved USD 12 million by using AI for fraud-detection and CISCO blocked seven trillion cyber threats. IBM is using AI for better and faster cyber threat detection. Watson has injected over two billion documents in its systems and has crunched the incident time from hours to minutes. Darktrace, a Startup into AI-models, saved “thousands of healthcare records during the WannaCry ransomware attack”.
With the rapid growth in online businesses, Cybersecurity attacks are growing exponentially too. 21% of organizations reported atleast one major cybersecurity breach in 2018 leading to cumulative losses of at least USD 50 million. 74% of these breaches had access to privileged accounts. As companies are integrating AI in their security systems, hackers too have upped their efforts by using AI for cyber-attacks. An AI sending ‘spear phishing’ personalized tweets is six times faster and two times more successful than its human counterpart. By 2021, cybercrime losses are expected to spike upto USD 6 trillion.
Though companies are fixing their AI bulwarks, more need to be done. A study from Capgemini says 53% of senior executives are overwhelmed with threat investigation and 23% are unable to cope with the magnitude. The shortage of skilled AI professionals is emerging as the biggest impediment to our Cyber Utopia dream. Organizations are floating vacancies but those vacancies go unfilled for months in the absence of availability of right AI talent. Our machines are ready, but we aren’t. As we gear up to step in 2020, we must refocus our utmost efforts to skill more AI professionals.
Earlier in this article, we had asked the question - when the gates of gatekeepers are breached then who do we look up to? We end this article with the answer - Look for and at the rising AI professionals.
ARTiBA’s AIE certification prepares cybersecurity professionals for the latest developments in the cyber-security space and skills them in leading-edge AI technologies. Visit the website for details.
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