Who’s the New Grandmaster?

Making the right moves to win the security challenge.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the final match game between chess champion Garry Kasparov and the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue. The world watched as Kasparov became the first world champion to be defeated in a match by a machine. The loss sparked the debate of “man versus machine” in the digital age.

Fast-forward to the present, and the debate continues. Only now, we’re talking about machine learning too. But this is well-established technology. So, why all the interest? The answer is simple – machine learning requires a vast amount of data to come up with a simple answer. We’ve now reached the digital tipping point – big data. In addition, improvements to current technologies are being fueled by reduced hardware and software costs, and advancements in machine learning research and development.

At the fast rate big data is growing, the demand for security intelligence also grows. While machine learning is being used in positive ways, it’s also being used for security breaches, too. So, what happens when two systems – hacker and enterprise – using machine learning meet up in a match of wits?

Learning security moves.

When a hacker’s system which is capable of machine learning goes up against an enterprise system, there’s a battle between security know-how. And, when data center security is also learning defensive moves, there can be a chaotic and rapid exchange of strategic moves. That is, until someone wins.

Briefly, machine learning is a series of techniques used to “train” a machine how to solve a problem. Although, there’s been a lot of “new” hype around machine learning, it’s currently being used now in several industries. Common applications of machine learning in technology include voice recognition, fraud detection, email spam filtering, search recommendations, and video analysis. So, chances are you’ve already seen machine learning in action.

You’re most likely already using machine learning as part of your data center security protection. Today’s defense solutions are optimized to prevent targeted attacks, advanced threats, and malware from embedding or spreading within a data center or network. For example, at Zones we offer Trend Micro’s solution that can analyze unknown threats with machine learning algorithms to make real-time decisions on whether network traffic is malicious or benign.

Zones also provides solutions that protect enterprises from attack methods that no one has ever seen before. We help you apply a unique combination of behavior analytics, data science techniques, and machine learning algorithms. This baseline, “normal” network, and endpoint behavior, helps identify attack indicators and minimize false positives.

These examples of cross-generational techniques to defend networks against known, undisclosed, and unknown threats, demonstrate the value of today’s security solutions.

Winning the defense game.

With machine learning in play, security becomes the only game to win. Many advanced threats are designed specifically to bypass traditional security defenses. Today’s sophisticated threats require new ways to protect everyone and everything – users, networks, data, customers, organizations, and the list goes on.

While no one can say that a single security solution is foolproof, machine learning can certainly help you go from vulnerable to victorious in one fell swoop. Today’s security solutions use machine learning – behavioral analysis, intrusion and exploit prevention, investigation and forensics, memory inspection, prevalence/maturity checks, and reputational intelligence – to protect against threats. In some cases, this occurs even months before a vulnerability can be exploited by a threat. Seeing ahead is a significant strength in the security game.

Instead of tossing security solutions around without rhyme or reason like pieces on a chessboard, let Zones help you figure out your next move. For starters, it’s easy to see every piece that’s undefended. Once you know your undefended pieces, you can make a jump in security strengths. Zones Security Assessment services can help you make that jump.

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This article originally appeared in the Summer 2017 edition of Solutions by Zones magazine. View online