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Darktrace unveils new cyber system that thinks like a human at machine speed

Written by Wed 4 Sep 2019

Darktrace releases human-inspired cyber defence tool in major landmark for machine learning-based threat investigation

Cyber AI specialist Darktrace has launched a new cyber security tool that emulates real life thought processes to investigate cyber threats at a fraction of the speed of humans.

The UK security firm has been developing the technology behind Cyber AI Analyst for three years at its R&D centre in Cambridge, where researchers used a combination of unsupervised, supervised and deep learning to obtain an algorithmic thumbprint of human intuition and cyber analyst know-how.

100 “world-class” cyber analysts representing a variety of customer deployments were studied as part of the research, the company said.

While Darktrace and others have already released cyber security solutions which leverage AI to detect threats, Cyber AI Analyst marks the first time that human expertise has been trained into the underlying machine learning system to produce a tool that actually investigates threats.

Darktrace obtained a significant amount of the data it used to train Cyber AI Analyst from the interactions between its own analysts and its flagship solution Enterprise Immune System.

As the system combines human ingenuity and cyber intellect with modern-day computing power, it can theoretically slash the time it usually takes for cyber security teams to look for patterns, form hypotheses, reach conclusions and share findings with the board.

While it is still early days, Darktrace is already attaching eye-catching figures to the new tool. Early adopters of Cyber AI Analyst have reported a 92 percent reduction in the time required to investigate threats and provide conclusions to executives, according to a press release announcing the launch.

“Darktrace’s Cyber AI Analyst quickly presents security information in a format that’s both elegant and intuitive,” said Chris Kissel, research director at IDC. “By automatically investigating security events, the AI Analyst helps reduce noise more than any other technology. This is an important development in the security industry.”

Anticipating concerns that the system signals the declining relevance of humans to cyber defence, Darktrace said Cyber Analyst AI “buys back time” for human teams.

“The burden of investigating threats typically falls on the shoulders of a small number of trained security professionals,” said Mike Beck, global head of Threat Analysis, Darktrace. “With Cyber AI Analyst, security teams can now rely on AI to investigate hundreds of threats at once, allowing human analysts to focus on the most strategic work.”

Written by Wed 4 Sep 2019


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