What Does Artificial Intelligence (AI) Have to Do with Ransomware Attacks?

An essential part of an IT department’s mission is to stay atop the latest technological trends such as protecting corporate networks by leveraging the latest security solutions and processes.

Applying AI to Cybersecurity

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in security, which heavily builds on Machine Learning (ML), has one key principle: to recognize patterns that emerge from past experiences and make predictions based on them.

Bitdefender began integrating machine learning technologies in its detection systems seven years ago! A large number of clustering and classifying algorithms are used to correctly and quickly answer the quintessential question: “Is this file clean or malicious?” For instance, if a million files need to be analyzed, those samples can be split into smaller groups (called clusters) where each file is similar to the others. Then all a security analyst has to do is to analyze one file from each cluster and apply the findings to all of them. 

Nipping Ransomware in the Bud with AI and ML

As stated in a recent Spiceworks survey, a top-of-mind issue for large organizations is ransomware, driving some 48% of current investments in cybersecurity. An additional 20% of those surveyed said they planned such deployments in the next 12 months, and another 8% have anti-ransomware tech on their roadmap over the next 1-2 years.

So, why is ransomware so scary? If we are to count just last year’s biggest incidents – WannaCry and NotPetya – the toll can rise into the hundreds of millions of dollars for just one victim, such as Maersk. In its first financial statement following the WannaCry outbreak, the Danish shipping giant reported losses upwards of $300 million! And that didn’t count the reputational damage that probably still takes a toll to this day. Together, the two ransomware contagions dealt damages in the billions globally.

This is Where AI Steps In

Not only does ransomware wreak havoc when deployed properly, it also notoriously hides its authors in plain sight, making the attackers virtually untraceable. On top of that, new ransomware variants emerge at such a rapid pace that traditional AV solutions can’t keep up. This is where AI steps in.

While Bitdefender has been steadily building on this applied science for years, patenting quite a few technologies in the process, others have been slow to pick up the baton. Nevertheless, IT departments everywhere are starting to recognize the edge that AI and ML can give them in fighting off cyber threats.

Contact us today to learn how you can put AI to work!

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