IT management software provider SolarWinds recently released its annual IT trends report, which includes a dive into an issue the company has very real experience with -- dealing with security threats. The report, "Building a Secure Future," looks at how technology professionals regard the current state of risk in evolving business environments, where the pandemic and other factors can create new potential points of exposure. This also heralds the introduction of a guide, "Secure by Design," from SolarWinds that may serve as an approach to better mitigate cyberattacks going forward. Sudhakar Ramakrishna, CEO of SolarWinds, joined the company in January from Pulse Secure, not long after last December's infamous Sunburst cyberattack made headlines. Sunburst was a sophisticated, malware supply chain attack that SolarWinds says inserted a vulnerability into software used by thousands of its customers.
On March 2, Microsoft revealed a critical cybersecurity offensive launched by a foreign adversary against organizations in the United States. The company attributed the attacks to a Chinese advanced persistent threat group it calls Hafnium. Microsoft quickly announced patches for the four previously unknown vulnerabilities in Exchange Server that the malicious actors had exploited. Reports circulated last week that the hackers compromised at least 30,000, and likely hundreds of thousands, of unpatched Exchange servers. As a consequence, incident responders are working around the clock responding to this latest threat, which they consider an actual attack on public and government IT infrastructure, unlike the still-ongoing, primarily espionage-oriented SolarWinds hack. The Biden Administration, already grappling with the fallout from the massive SolarWinds hack, which became public in December and has been widely, although not officially, attributed to Russian hackers, said it would take" a whole of government response to assess and address the impact."
Fortinet, a global integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, today announced FortiAI, an appliance that leverages self-learning Deep Neural Networks (DNN) to speed threat remediation and handle time-consuming, manual security analyst tasks. FortiAI's Virtual Security AnalystÔ embeds a mature cybersecurity artificial intelligence, developed by Fortinet's FortiGuard Labs, directly into an organization's network to deliver sub-second detection of advanced threats. To address the challenges faced by security professionals today, Fortinet is unveiling FortiAI Virtual Security AnalystÔ to accelerate threat remediation. FortiAI handles many of the time consuming, manual tasks currently expected of security professionals, preserving their time for higher-value security functions. FortiAI's self-learning capabilities continue to get smarter once deployed in an organization's network.
Cybersecurity has been continuously evolving, not just as a hot topic for discussion but as the mainstream challenge and priority for a large number of organizations. Recently, we have seen several cyberattack incidents turning into global epidemic events, such as WannaCry (May 2017; damaging 200,000 computers across 150 countries), Petya/NotPetya (June 2017; $10 billion damage estimated), Mirai (Oct 2016; initial level impact on 300,000 insecure IoT-devices worth $100 million, further variants and consequences still getting unveiled). And even on the corporate front, the world has witnessed several massive breach incidents, including Yahoo (2013-14; impacting 3 billion users), Equifax (July 2017; impacting 150 million U.S. citizens), and Aadhaar (Aug 2017 to Jan 2018, 1.1 billion Indian citizens impacted), just to name a few. With every passing day, cybercriminals are learning and adopting new and innovative methods of attack. To withstand such attacks, security agencies also need to ramp up their game.
By the year 2021, cybercrime losses will cost upwards of $6 trillion annually. It's no surprise, then, that the cybersecurity industry is exploding as it grows to protect the networks and systems on which companies and organizations operate and store data. Because effective information security requires smarter detection, many cybersecurity companies are upping their game by using artificial intelligence to achieve that goal. A new wave of AI-powered solutions and products keep bad actors on their toes while giving IT teams much needed relief. Here are 30 companies merging artificial intelligence and cybersecurity to make the virtual world safer.