Industry Perspectives

Defending Your Future with Machine Learning

Jan 16, 2019 | by Peter Beardmore |

Business interest in artificial intelligence (AI) has ebbed and flowed for decades, sometimes hampered by computing power limitations and other times by the lack of any significant commercial success. Technology leaders are applying AI to business today, and machine learning, a discrete subset of AI, is being viewed as increasingly important to cybersecurity professionals.

In a new report by the Security for Business Innovation Council (SBIC), leading global CISOs identify machine learning as an imperative to stay ahead of the growing volume and complexity of cybersecurity issues. As with most new technologies, the SBIC points out that there is a learning curve of time and resources, but members agree that the benefits of incorporating machine learning into your security infrastructure will far outweigh the investment.

"The Machine Learning Cyber Imperative; Unlocking the Potential of Artificial Intelligence for Security," outlines some of the key areas security leaders need to focus on as they prepare to leverage AI and machine learning in an uncertain future. The paper uncovers insights around key questions such as:

  • What's the best way to start incorporating machine learning into my security infrastructure?
  • How can I minimize the risk when taking on something new like machine learning?
  • What are some examples of how machine learning can be applied in a security organization?
  • Will I need to hire a data scientist?
  • What are the steps to implement machine learning?
  • What could go wrong?

Getting Schooled in Machine Learning

Successfully integrating machine learning into your cybersecurity operation takes thought and preparation, and the SBIC offers best practices that will help you get off the ground successfully. Key takeaways include:

Data is king – Getting the right data and as much of it as you can increases your opportunity to extract value quickly.

Start small and safe – Begin with a narrow scope by choosing a project where you already are familiar with the available data.

Patterns are power – Machine learning excels at super-fast pattern recognition, both in finding matches and anomalies which can be leveraged to make informed predictions.

Understand the imperative – Machine learning isn't optional; it will be increasingly essential to make timely security and risk decisions to stay ahead of ongoing threats.