Adoption of Machine Learning Can Make Security Teams Better

Anand Ramamoorthy, Managing Director, South Asia, McAfee | Wednesday, 11 October 2017, 11:21 IST

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1. A practical approach to integrate the fragmented cyber security industry is a must to detect and protect. But the cyber security industry in India has big and small players operating on different levels of technologies. What exactly should be the approach to seamlessly integrate them?

As cybersecurity becomes a board room discussion topic, it has become imperative to find new ways to extract more value from security operations. This has become a hot priority for most CISOs and security architects as they progress toward the goal of a proactive and optimized security operation. Considering the dynamic threat landscape, where breaches are becoming front page headlines more often than not, each day’s delay extends the window of opportunity for them to wreak havoc on their endpoints.

Even though there is no silver bullet for security, McAfee believes in providing the best protection for its customers with the ability to co-exist and provide an open ecosystem for integrations.

2. With the advent of Digital India the country is taking big steps towards Data Analysis and AI. The obvious area of concern is the security breach on both corporate and domestic world that can paralyze the entire chain. What is your opinion for the Indian Diaspora?

The demonetization drive and the Digital India revolution in the country have created an array of opportunities and challenges for enterprises and consumers alike. The rapid upsurge in e-commerce and the increasing acceptance of e-wallet gateways will make security of paramount importance for both end-users and mobile-wallet payment firms. With the move towards a digital economy, increasing amount of consumer and citizen data will be stored digitally and a large number of transactions will be carried out online, by companies, individuals as well as government departments. This places a lot of onus on stakeholders, who needs to be better prepared with an efficient security infrastructure. Security needs to be inherent rather than a bolt on.

According to recent CERT-In report, at least one cybercrime was reported every 10 minutes in India in the first six months of 2017, which is higher than a crime every 12 minutes in 2016. At a time, when everybody is connected through internet devices, McAfee sees it as a major responsibility to ensure that the people are provided with a safe digital environment.

3. Encryption, Parental Control, Password, Image recognition, Biometric identification and a lot more all are the latest techniques to secure our data. Yet companies and individual recently have come under WannaCry and other agents compromising the system. Clearly the traditional approach is not working. How the domestic, medium and international cyber security businesses have to evolve that potentially can address this issue?

Yes, you are right and the traditional siloes approach does not work. This is well documented by now. We believe that most organizations may be able to detect 99 percent of all security breaches and it is mostly the one percent attacks that will slip through and cause the most damage. Hence organizations need a security posture for not if but when the breach takes places. At McAfee, we rely on the "golden hour" concept with a view that the security industry must work towards reducing the time it takes organizations to detect and deflect attacks before severe damage is inflicted upon them. This requires a major rethink of established security practices as we attempt to figure out what is failing us.

In the field of cybersecurity, reliance on machine learning amplifies the capabilities of the humans we have, making security teams better. Human judgement and experience cannot be replicated by machines, but humans struggle to find patterns in massive data sets and they operate in minutes, not microseconds. As new threats are introduced, security teams alone cannot sustain the volume, and machines alone cannot issue creative responses. Hence, McAfee has further strengthened its existing endpoint security solution by adding machine learning capabilities in the Endpoint Security 10.5 Platform through Real Protect functionality. This help enhancing overall endpoint security capabilities against the growing dynamic threat landscape.

4. With the ever increasing need of sharing of Data and vital information between an individual and an organization acting under changing government policies and regulations, the need of privacy or to maintain it is a huge challenge. Faced with dual challenge of protecting privacy of individual and also to protect from the hackers the cyber security industry needs technology and a moral backup. How does morality in this technology world strengthen the bond among customers?

In this digital age, where everyone is connected to the internet one way or another, the risks of being online are more than one can anticipate. When a simple web search on Google can pull up records of an individual's personal details if the privacy settings are not set right on social media sites like Facebook, imagine what hackers with proficient coding knowledge can do. An important aspect of privacy is data protection and now that privacy is recognized as a Fundamental Right in India, new legislation will have to come in to regulate entities who collect data. Today, the fact remains that more and more organizations are accessing customer’s data and the risk of a cyberattack is more prevalent. That said, organizations may potentially be missing a powerful brand and business-building opportunity; leveraging online security measures as a way to build trust with customers.

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