If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
Content delivery platform provider Akamai announced Wednesday platform security enhancements intended to increase cybersecurity protections for web applications, APIs and user accounts. Akamai said its machine learning algorithms leverage insights from a dataset of over 1.3 billion daily client interactions to automate threat detections, time-consuming tasks and security logic to help cybersecurity analysts make better decisions faster. The company said it is taking these steps to keep up with attackers who are using AI, machine learning and automation to increase the frequency and sophistication of their attacks. "At Akamai, our latest platform release is intended to help resolve the tension between security and ease of use, with key capabilities around automation and machine learning specifically designed to intelligently augment human decision-making," said Aparna Rayasam, Akamai's senior vice president and general manager for Application Security, in a press release. "Smart automation adds immediate value and empowers users with the right tools to generate insight and context to make faster and more trustworthy decisions ... while anticipating what attackers might do next."
When March 1 hit and social distancing was imposed, Deakin University, like many organisations, were forced to rethink how it would help its 10,500 staff and 62,000 students, including some located overseas, work and learn online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, for the Melbourne-based university, offering online learning to students was not completely alien. Deakin University has been offering online learning through what it dubs CloudDeakin, a cloud-hosted learning management system, since 1993. Deakin University chief digital officer Craig Warren told ZDNet that while its cloud campus looks a lot different compared to how it was when it first launched, CloudDeakin is considered as the university's fifth campus, alongside its four physical campuses, where some 27,000 students from 73 different countries are enrolled to study exclusively online. "Our virtual environment has always been dear and most important to us … and has been our fastest growing campus, experiencing 7% year on year growth over the last five years," he said.
Akamai has acquired Janrain in a bid to improve security access controls and identity management. On Monday, John Summers, Akamai VP & CTO announced the purchase, which is designed to improve Akamai's position in "securing against expanding threats while also enabling superior web experiences." Financial details were not disclosed. Janrain focuses on the development of customer identity and access management (CIAM) solutions. Founded in 2002, the company counts Coca-Cola, the BBC, Samsung, and illy among its customers, and also says that the firm was the creator of social login, a single sign-on system which uses data from social networking services to authenticate users.
Amy O'Connor, chief information officer at Cloudera and Patrick Sullivan, global director of Security Strategy at Akamai, discuss the growing use of artificial intelligence in both public and private sector cyber security, The latest agency to consider using artificial intelligence to augment their cybersecurity systems is the Internal Revenue Service. A request for proposals went out in June for an analytics platform to identify risks at the agency, and AI cloud providers are jumping at the opportunity. "I think it's encouraging that the IRS is going down this path. We see both in the private sector and public sector that people are turning to machine learning. One of the challenges that we face is not only are the threats growing… but just the challenge of finding qualified security professionals is daunting.
You know by now that Internet of Things devices like your router are often vulnerable to attack, the industry-wide lack of investment in security leaving the door open to a host of abuses. Worse still, known weaknesses and flaws can hang around for years after their initial discovery. And Monday, the content and web services firm Akamai published new findings that it has observed attackers actively exploiting a flaw in devices like routers and video game consoles that was originally exposed in 2006. Over the last decade, reports have increasingly detailed the flaws and vulnerabilities that can plague insecure implementations of a set of networking protocols called Universal Plug and Play. But where these possibilities were largely academic before, Akamai found evidence that attackers are actively exploiting these weaknesses not to attack the devices themselves, but as a jumping off point for all sorts of malicious behavior, which could include DDoS attacks, malware distribution, spamming/phishing/account takeovers, click fraud, and credit card theft.
A week and a half ago I was in Berlin for the hub conference. I had the opportunity to speak on a panel about cybersecurity (no surprise there) and shared my views on how countries and corporate entities can work together. I touched on the need for better channels of communication between the aforementioned. This generated a fair amount of discussion after the panel and all of it was positive. The next day I was off to the airport to head home.
Eric Swildens knows how damaging intellectual property trials can be. In 2002, Speedera Networks, the content delivery network he cofounded, was sued for patent infringement and trade secrets violation by Akamai. "It was trial by fire," says the 50-year-old engineer. "I learned a bunch of stuff I didn't necessarily want to learn."