Last month, the RSA Conference was held in San Francisco, it’s usual location. While attendance numbers for the conference have not been released yet, apparently attendance was not as large as last year’s record of some 43K+ attendees. And, it did not seem as crowded as last year—good!
While the conference does have an official theme every year, even if people do know what the theme is, no one really cares. What is far more interesting is what the the unofficial theme of the conference is, as determined by the ‘buzz’ or predominate vendor hype for that year. Last year's 'theme' was clearly artificial intelligence / machine learning. This year’s unofficial theme was IoT, though ‘insert blockchain here’ was probably a close second.
While the marketing crowd may have moved on from artificial intelligence (for now), there is actually a strong connection between (last year’s unofficial theme) artificial intelligence and (this year’s unofficial theme) securing IoT. This is true for several reasons.
First, the sheer number of IoT devices being deployed means that humans will not be able to review all of the log data generated—and certainly in nothing close to real time.
Secondly, IoT devices have already infiltrated the enterprise. You might be thinking that IoT pertains only to ICS and SCADA systems, or on the other hand, home IoT. What about the ‘gadgets’ that Facilities has deployed / installed? Those IoT devices may support a variety of enterprise applications. For instance, smart cameras and smoke detectors enhance security; smart thermostats, smart light bulbs and sockets facilitate power savings. How about the smart TVs typically installed in conference rooms? What about the electric recharging stations used by your CEO? And, what about her Tesla that syncs her corporate e-mail, contacts, and calendar from her Android phone to her Tesla?
Third, AI is important to IoT because your human analyst now has to work with new protocols (e.g., 6LoWPAN, CoAP, DTLS) that he is not familiar with—and that your firewalls might not even handle— plus new use cases, and new attack vectors.
For these three reasons alone, plus others, securing IoT will be hugely reliant on AI. Just watch for lessons learned from home IoT platforms such Apple’s HomeKit and Samsung’s SmartThings, as well as enterprise IoT platforms such as GE’s Predix and Samsung’s ARTIK.
You are probably nearly overwhelmed already just from trying to protect your legacy on-premise environment, plus all of the SaaS applications used by your organization, and your organization’s use of a public IaaS or PaaS platform (e.g., AWS, Google Cloud Platform, or Microsoft Azure). You’re going to need AI to help with your cybersecurity. You just might not have realized such yet.
Contact us to find out more about the employment of AI for security operations?