These Three Technologies hold the Power to Transform Cyber Security


A credit card sized computer remains hidden in a laboratory connected to its network for a period of 10 months. During these 10 months, the attacker was able to enter into the systems and applications that were not approved for access. The system administrators did not check as to what devices were connected on the network. The attacker then took advantage of the weaknesses in the laboratory’s network to remain undetected for 10 months, stealing 23 files in the process. Two of these files contained information on International Traffic in Arms Regulations, which controls the transfer of military and space-related technology, related to the Mars Science Laboratory Mission.

If you are wondering if this is from a fiction novel or a TV series, you are wrong. This is the attack which has happened at NASA. Yes, you read it right. The world’s most advanced space lab was hacked due to an unauthorized Raspberry Pi computer connected to the JPL servers.

Welcome to the brave new world where hacks such as these have become common news. The cybersecurity measures today implemented across organizations in the world are struggling in the wake of loose controls, dilapidated infrastructure and inability to keep pace with the breakneck speed with which the hackers operate and adopt newer technologies.

While some may say that doomsday is near, there are 3 technologies which have the power to completely transform the way cybersecurity is implemented. While these new technologies are still trying to germinate, they offer a hope that cybersecurity measures with their help can slow down the pace of the hackers and bring a level field in this fight.


Cloud Computing

While skeptics around the world may not agree, but cloud computing has the power to completely transform the way cybersecurity is addressed by organizations around the world. Well, here are some examples that lend credibility to the belief in the cloud systems:


Many fortune 500 companies are utilizing the power vested in the cloud and its capabilities to defend their infrastructure. AWS, Google Cloud (Anthos) and Microsoft Azure offer advanced cybersecurity capabilities which as an organization would find it difficult to budget for if it implements those all by itself.

Some of these capabilities are :

  • Threat Detection in Present Time
  • Real-time Updates
  • Better endpoint security

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

I have often noticed that if you mention the term artificial intelligence, people imagine robots and flying machines and self-driving cars. While this future is still far away, artificial intelligence holds the possibility of transforming cybersecurity. AI’s crucial role right now is to offload work from human cybersecurity engineers, to handle the depth and detail that humans cannot tackle fast enough or accurately enough. Advances in machine learning technology mean that AI applications can also automatically adapt to changes in threats and spot problems as they arise.

Conventional cybersecurity systems utilize Advanced Threat Prevention to detect cyber threats and protect against them. However, 845.37 million malware was created in 2018 and around 10 million new malware are created every month this year. Traditional cybersecurity systems are inefficient in handling such new varieties of malware. Therefore, adopting AI for cybersecurity is a feasible solution to tackle such problems.

Cybersecurity firms are training AI systems to detect malware and viruses with the help of several datasets that include algorithms and codes. Using such data, AI can perform pattern recognition that helps identify malicious behavior in software. Moreover, AI and machine learning can play a crucial role in online security. Machine learning can analyze path traversals of websites to detect whether a website navigates to malicious domains. Likewise, AI-based systems can recognize malicious files, like web shell, and preemptively isolate them from the system. AI systems can be trained to analyze the micro-behavior of ransomware attacks to recognize ransomware before it encrypts a system. Furthermore, AI systems can use predictive analytics to AI-based alternatives that will always be quicker and more effective than a manual approach.

It's an arms race where hackers will take the lead and deploy the power of artificial intelligence to produce malware that can withstand all current mitigation models. While the adoption is still afar, one who gets the lead here will ultimately have the upper hand. Well, AI is here and there’s no stopping it, so it's better to use it to secure the cyber world.

BlockChain

From securing DNS to safeguarding digital identities to revolutionizing the financial markets, blockchain is the go-to technology that is portrayed as a panacea for all the problems in our lives. While there are some interesting use cases in the field of cyber, that blockchain aims to achieve. Let’s have a look at them:

IOT Security

Blockchain technology can be used to protect systems and devices from attacks. According to Joseph Pindar, co-founder of the Trusted IoT Alliance, blockchain can give those IoT devices enough “smarts” to make security decisions without relying on a central authority. For instance, devices can form a group consensus regarding the normal occurrences within a given network, and to lockdown any nodes that behave suspiciously.

Blockchain technology can also protect all the data exchanges happening between IoT devices. It can be used to attain near real-time secure data transmissions and ensure timely communication between devices located thousands of miles apart. Additionally, blockchain security means that there is no longer a centralized authority controlling the network and verifying the data going through it. Staging an attack would be much harder (if even possible).

More Secure DNS

DNS is largely centralized. As a result, hackers can break into the connection between website name and IP address and wreak havoc. They can cash websites, route people to scam websites, or simply make a website unavailable. They can also pair DNS attacks with DDoS attacks to render websites utterly unusable for extended periods of time. The current most effective solution to such issues is to tail log files and enable real-time alerts for suspicious activities.

A blockchain-based system can take security one step further. Because it’s decentralized, it would be that much more difficult for hackers to find and exploit single points of vulnerability. Your domain information can be stored immutably on a distributed ledger, and the connection can be powered by immutable smart contracts.

Security in Private Messaging

While many messaging systems use end-to-end encryption, others are beginning to use blockchain to keep that information secure. At the moment, most messaging apps lack a standard set of security protocols and a unified API framework for enabling “cross-messenger” communications. The emerging secure blockchain communication ecosystems tackle this issue and work towards creating a new system of unified communication. Blockchain is a great solution for that as it secures all data exchanges and enables connectivity between different messaging platforms.

While all these technologies have the potential to transform cyber security, the question is as to how easy and quick their adoption will be. The hackers have already jumped on this bandwagon and will utilize them to the fullest to maximize their gains, the onus lies on the cybersecurity professionals and organizations to sharpen their knives and be ready for this battle either with these technologies or without them.

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