Advanced persistent threats are evolving at a rapid pace – especially the threat of malware adopting AI to support and advance its malicious activities. With that in our near future, we’re seeing another trend take hold on a global scale with an uptick in nation-state cyber warfare. This means that countries are effectively using new and developing technology to launch cyberattacks on another country’s unsuspecting infrastructure with the aim of debilitating or taking it down completely. For example, the US and Russia have already been playing at this with ongoing attacks trying to disable each other’s power grids. With the upcoming election nearly upon us, this compounded threat looms in the background.
According to the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, nation-state attacks are now costing companies between $300 and $500 billion per year. As foreign hacking groups become more sophisticated, it is crucial for the US Government to upscale its advanced threat protection so it can defend against future attacks.
One next generation cyber security solution looks at applying the power of AI and deep learning to predict and prevent attacks before they can do any damage. Here’s what countries can do now to protect themselves in the long run.
As these cyberthreats continue to grow in terms of volume and their scope of devastation, organizations are going to need skilled cybersecurity professionals manning the front lines. To achieve advanced malware protection at the level that’s needed governments must invest in training opportunities that are geared to the unique security demands of the nation-state. Staff need to be educated specifically on cyberwarfare to understand the objectives of an attacker and the remediation actions that need to be executed to undermine their efforts. By implementing these defense mechanisms, nation-states can dramatically minimize the amount of malware capable of slipping through the cracks and infiltrating their infrastructure.
Sometimes, the most drastic cyberattacks come from within your own infrastructure. By performing advanced threat analytics of your own database as well as monitoring all users within it to identify any abnormalities or unpatched vulnerabilities, drastically reduces the chances of malware making it through some of the most common portals of entry. Since government departments hold crucial, highly sensitive information that is shared across multiple networks and their associated offices, this unique operational structure requires strict access limitations to ensure no critical data is exposed at any moment.
In this current era, implementing a simple plug-and-play cybersecurity solution is not enough. It is more crucial than ever before to make sure that your malware protection tools are ever-evolving and ready to challenge the latest threats – especially when it comes to AI. If any part of the network is exposed to AI-based malware, only an AI-based solution will have the ability to distinguish the threat as malicious, whereas it would otherwise proceed undetected, infiltrating the entire government database. Even still, it’s possible that the advanced AI malware has stealth capabilities that can undermine the advanced threat protection capabilities of an AI-based solution. Precipitating an arms race, this possible eventuality necessitates a deep learning, next generation cyber security solution that is designed to evolve in line with the evolution of attacks. The neural network algorithm of deep learning becomes more adept, the more it is exposed to training samples, therefore as it’s confronted with more AI-based malware, it becomes increasingly skilled at distinguishing it as malicious, to ensure ongoing detection.
If a nation is about to fall victim to a looming cyberthreat, the attack won’t be coming from just one side. Cyberattacks are now striking from all angles – from endpoints to point-of-sale systems to mobile and cloud environments, this growing infrastructure represents an ever-widening attack surface. Hackers will work to infiltrate it through as many opportunities as possible. Having advanced threat protection that is powered by AI algorithms and input agnostic will provide proper protection with wide-ranging platform play.
As these countries work to implement new defense mechanisms, adopting these best practices will be the key component to widespread prevention of AI-enabled threats, that could potentially have catastrophic consequences if not immediately thwarted. With malware threats becoming stealthier and more evasive, an investment in advanced threat protection is not a panacea solution, but it’s the best bet to ensure a government’s most crucial digital assets remain secure and free from exposure.