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It’s not all doom and gloom in security-ville, however. Numerous experts say that the increasing power of machine learning algorithms is giving vendors an increasingly decisive edge over their underworld opponents.
Hal Lonas, chief technology officer at Webroot Inc., of Broomfield, Colo., credits several mutually reinforcing factors for that welcome development, starting with the massive piles of historical data artificial intelligence engines now have access to when assessing threats.
“We’re actually sitting on petabytes of information that we’ve accumulated over the last 10 years,” he says. “The more data you have, the better off you’re going to be.”
That AI platforms have access to massively scalable public cloud infrastructures and more powerful big data solutions as well only helps matters, Lonas continues. In fact, machine learning technology has helped Webroot cut the time required to identify and warn millions of endpoints about new attacks from eight minutes a few years ago to just five minutes today.
“The stars are lining up right,” Lonas says. “It’s all coming together for the industry.”
Schiappa expects artificial intelligence to give the industry a leg up over adversaries for some time to come. Sure, he notes, bad guys may eventually even the odds by building machine learning platforms of their own, but they’ll have to amass data in the same quantities as the good guys first.
“That’s way off,” Schiappa says. “We think [AI will] give us a decent advantage for a while.”
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