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Data security strategies turn to risk reduction, role of AI

In 2017 we saw attacks such as Petya and WannaCry, and data breaches across almost every industry — transportation, finance, healthcare, government, education, and so on. At the same time, we watched the cybersecurity industry’s talent gap widen, and heard hype over artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential for bridging that gap and improving security.

The following predictions for 2018 address what may truly help solve the cybersecurity gap, how we will help security analysts become laser-focused on the most relevant threats, and how we may see AI used to both protect and attack.

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A man types on a laptop computer in an arranged photograph taken in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. U.S. officials are discussing whether new standards should be set for government action in response to hacks like the one suffered by Sony Pictures Entertainment, such as if a certain level of monetary damage is caused or if values such as free speech are trampled, National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers said in an interview with Bloomberg News. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

2018 Predictions:

1. A paradigm shift will begin to occur to attract the next generation of cybersecurity talent.

In a climate where no end is in sight to the proliferation of attacks, the cybersecurity industry must find ways to fill its talent gap. A focus in 2018 will be finding new ways to attract the next generation to the field of cybersecurity.

Recent research shows millennials and post millennials are highly exposed to gaming principals and have a high affinity for VR and AR, making them highly attuned to humans’ innate ability to reason spatially and visually. The industry has the opportunity to develop solutions that attract, upskill and retain young workers — and to work toward closing the job gap instead of projecting it to widen.

2. The 10,000 to 100,000 observations that most current security analysts are used to experiencing will be narrowed down to a highly-consolidated handful of the most critical and relevant threats.

CISOs will focus on risk reduction versus point solutions targeted at each threat as they appear. Accelerating humans with the help of automated mediation through machine learning will be a shift we will increasingly see in 2018, making security analysts more efficient and effective.

3. Machine learning and AI integrations will continue to advance, but so will threats.

The same technologies that improve corporate defenses will also likely be used to attack them. An AI with all the right information about a target could ultimately trick them into clicking anything or sending out any data desired. Advances in AI and machine learning are a double-edged sword, improving product experience but also useful for hackers and cybercriminals.

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