What is Machine Learning (AI) and Why Does it Matter?

There’s been a lot of buzz recently about so-called machine learning, yet despite so much talk, there are a great number of individuals who are still unfamiliar with this technology. As IT automation experts, the team at Ayehu is already harnessing the power of this innovative concept in the automation and orchestration solutions we offer. As such, we thought it might be helpful to delve a little bit into what machine learning is and, more importantly, what it can do for your organization.

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence which involves an algorithm that learns a pattern in existing data and then uses that information to predict a similar pattern in new data. Despite the recent attention it has been getting, machine learning is nothing new. But thanks to the overabundance in available data and more affordable tools for gathering, processing, deciphering and storing that data, these algorithms can now easily be applied to produce fast, affordable results for businesses everywhere.

Why does it matter?

From a business standpoint, machine learning can facilitate better decision-making in real-time, without the need for human intervention. Essentially, the technology is intuitive enough to “learn” from past events and adapt for better performance in the future based on that information. By leveraging these precise algorithms, organizations can better identify profitable opportunities and more effectively avoid unknown risks.

Who can benefit the most from Machine Learning?What is Machine Learning (AI) and Why Does it Matter?

Businesses in almost every industry can potentially benefit from machine learning technology, but there are several industries for which this technology is particularly useful. Specifically, organizations in industries that require the handling of large amounts of data are already realizing the benefits of machine learning in gaining insight and competitive advantage.

This type of AI can also be highly effective in the area of information security by automating incident response and using existing data to predict and prevent future cybersecurity risks. As such, the businesses that have already begun leveraging machine learning with great results include those that fall into any of the following sectors:

  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare
  • Government
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

Not coincidentally, each of these industries also happens to be at a greater risk of a cyber-attack due to the sensitive nature of the information and data they handle on a day to day basis. Machine learning can help manage, store and utilize the available data to streamline operations and improve customer experience. It can also help build a stronger defense against potential security breaches by providing round-the-clock monitoring and automated response for faster, more effective remediation.

How Ayehu is Using Machine Learning

The next generation of Ayehu is a simple yet powerful web-based automation and orchestration platform for IT and security operations that leverages proprietary, sophisticated machine learning algorithms to provide decision support via suggestions to optimize workflows and dynamically create rule-based recommendations, insights and correlations. Agentless and codeless, Ayehu is easily deployed, allowing users to rapidly automate tasks and processes, including interoperability across multiple, disparate solutions and systems from one, standalone platform.

To see machine learning technology in action, click here to request a free demo.

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5 Cybersecurity Myths That Could Leave Your Organization Vulnerable

5 Cybersecurity Myths That Could Leave Your Organization VulnerableWhen it comes to protecting your organization from the ever-increasing, relentless onslaught of cybersecurity threats, it can be easy to wander down the wrong path. In many instances, well-intentioned but overworked and understaffed IT teams end up inadvertently placing their company at risk due to misinformation or false truths. Take a look at five of the biggest myths surrounding the topic of cybersecurity and see if you might be more vulnerable than you realize.

Myth #1 – External threats are the most dangerous.

Truth: Obviously there is a very real and very serious problem with cyber criminals today, but what many organizations fail to recognize is that internal parties are often the weakest link, whether it’s an employee who falls for a phishing email or a consultant who isn’t careful enough with network access. If you want to develop the strongest defense possible, your cybersecurity incident response plan must incorporate training, checks and balances that will keep everyone inside your company vigilant.

Myth #2 – Our patch management is sufficient enough.

Truth: You may feel your security team is at the top of their game, and they very well may be. The problem is, software and application vendors issue patches for vulnerabilities that are known. Unfortunately, there are a good number of vulnerabilities that either haven’t yet been discovered or haven’t yet been disclosed. In other words, it’s important to understand and acknowledge that despite your best efforts, you may be exposed without even realizing it. So, while patch management is certainly important, it cannot be the only component of your strategy.

Myth #3 – It’s all about prevention.

Truth: While it’s certainly critical to put the right measures in place to prevent incoming threats from being successful, it’s equally important to recognize that preventing every single attack simply isn’t possible. This is where many organizations get into trouble. They focus 100% of their efforts on monitoring and neglect the all-important step of remediation. The strongest cybersecurity incident response strategies include steps to quickly pinpoint, isolate and eradicated those attacks that manage to slip through undetected.

Myth #4 – We haven’t been compromised.

Truth: We touched on this in the previous point, but it’s so critical that it deserves its own section. The bulk of the damage that occurs due to cybersecurity incidents occurs not at the initial point of attack, but rather in the length of time it takes to realize the attack occurred. This can take days, weeks or even months. All the while, the hackers are free to wreak havoc within your network. Furthermore, in many cases, successful compromises are not even detected by the victim, but by an outside party. Being vigilant and leveraging automation technology to keep round-the-clock watch is essential.

Myth #5 – If and when we become compromised, we’ll be able to tell.

Truth: The average data breach can take up to six months before it is detected. Imagine how much damage could be done in that amount of time. That’s like giving free reign to criminals and allowing them to destroy systems, compromise applications, access and steal sensitive data and any host of other unsavory activities. Never assume that you’ll easily know when a breach occurs. Instead, operate under the assumption that you already have been and use technology to your fullest advantage to bridge the gap between human capability and the real and present dangers at hand.

Have you fallen victim to any of the above myths and misconceptions? If so, you could be inadvertently placing your organization at unnecessary risk of a serious and costly data breach. Protect your sensitive information and keep your network as safe as possible by incorporating automation technology into your cybersecurity incident response strategy. Try it free for 30 days.

Click here to download your trial.

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Should You Automate Security Incident Response?

Should You Automate Security Incident Response?There’s no question that incidents of cyber-security violations are on the rise. In fact, the numbers are steadily climbing at an alarming rate. In 2013, the number of incidents increased by an incredible 48%. The following year, security breaches rose another 23%. With statistics like this, it’s becoming increasingly evident that businesses must be proactive and extremely diligent about protecting their sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands. Could automated security incident response be the answer?

In years past, the traditional 4-step method of managing security incidents was sufficient. IT personnel would prepare as much as they could for possible attacks and spend a great deal of their time analyzing the events that were detected to determine their legitimacy and severity. From there, the next step was to contain or eradicate the problem and work toward system recovery as quickly as possible. IT would then evaluate their response to develop better practices for use in the future. For a while, this was enough to keep cyber-attackers in check.

Unfortunately, with online security breaches becoming much more frequent and sophisticated, the old method for security incident response is no longer effective. It’s simply not fast enough, nor is it proactive or thorough enough to keep up with the changing demands. Today, IT personnel just don’t have the capacity to handle such an influx of threats, nor do they have the time or bandwidth to evaluate and address every event as it comes in. This can lead to devastating and costly breaches.

When you add automation into the security incident response process, however, all of these shortcomings can be addressed and eliminated. With a quality automation product, the IT department can streamline their incident management process. Incoming events are detected and the system automatically evaluates, prioritizes and escalates. This eliminates false positives and ensures that legitimate threats are always detected, reported and addressed in a timely manner.

Additionally, automation can then facilitate a seamless, closed-loop process, updating the incident log, resolving alerts and tracking and documenting all processes to be used for developing best practices moving forward. An automated system can also help IT departments to become more proactive by identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities. Most importantly, with an automated process, systems can be back up and running much faster, reducing costly downtime and improving customer satisfaction.

Today’s automation products can be easily and seamlessly integrated with existing incident management programs, such as Solarwinds and Servicenow, to extend and enhance legacy systems without the need for an entire platform replacement or overhaul.

With cyber-attacks steadily on the rise, businesses of every shape, size and industry are at risk of becoming victims. The best way to protect yourself, your organization and those whose sensitive information may be at risk is to establish a solid security incident response plan.

Is your company protected?

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response