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Apr 27 2022 | by Muhammed Mobin

Cybersecurity Today Needs An Immune System Approach

From Solar Winds to the Microsoft Azure DDOS attack, 2021 witnessed some of the biggest cyber-attacks in history. However, with the continuing growth in digital services worldwide, 2022 and the following years will probably experience an even bigger scale of threats. By 2025, it is estimated that the economic loss due to cybercrime will be over USD 10.5 trillion annually worldwide. 

Traditional approaches in cybersecurity will not be sufficient to block the onslaught of threats that are fast evolving into complex and multi-dimensional entities. They might prove too difficult to be traced and destroyed by popular threat resolution systems and strategies.  

So, what’s the solution? 

One of the best ways to successfully navigate the challenging future of cybersecurity is to build defence and combat techniques inspired by the human immune system. Just like how the human body identifies and kills foreign bodies with targeted immune responses to changed body behaviour, the immune system approach in cybersecurity is tailored to proactively meet a wide range of threats and their constant evolution. 

Let us examine the key benefits that an immune system-based approach in cybersecurity can bring to enterprise security. 

Develops situational awareness 

The immune system approach operates by bringing AI to your enterprise’s data. It carefully dissects every transactional behaviour, familiarizing itself with every workflow and unique characteristics that different enterprise digital channels exhibit. As the business evolves over time, the security system also evolves on its own by learning new facets of operations along with the business.  

The advantage of such an approach is that the system eventually relies on its own situational awareness and prevents threats in real-time based on how it detects anomalies in the normal behaviour of the business. By leveraging AI, an immune system approach to security constantly maintains a snapshot of the enterprise’s data real estate when the business is functioning normally. When any deviation is observed, it corrects the event and helps reinforce boring but safe normalcy. 

Self-learning independent of training with historic data 

The cyber threat landscape is not just in an evolutionary phase. As funny as it sounds, it is also in a phase of innovation. Criminals are creating new threats that have totally different threat signatures from how things were done in the past. From ransomware to malicious code that resides in the background of your devices as it spies until it finds an entry point, the battleground is witnessing a slew of new entrants. What this means for threat evasion and detection systems is that historic data and knowledge gained from past cybercrimes are becoming less worthy training material for future dangers.  

This is precisely where the immune system approach can be different. Rather than relying on historic trends and data, the system trains itself by constantly learning about the business transactional and operational landscape in the digital space. It learns about new threats based on behavioural symptoms of different enterprise systems just like how the immune system in our bodies detects viral or foreign bodies when they enter. This gives it the liberty of not needing constant definition updates to stay vigilant. 

Faster autonomous response 

By leveraging AI, an immune system approach can respond swiftly to combat changed behavioural patterns of enterprise systems. This allows it to respond to and repair infected files or services faster than manual discovery and rectification systems would. A faster response is critical in minimizing the damage any cyber threat can cause to an enterprise. Hence when followed rigorously, the immune system approach could become a key pillar in empowering business continuity. 

Better targeting and results 

Rather than using historic knowledge about threat detection and combat, the immune system approach in cybersecurity leverages AI to swiftly make micro-decisions on even the smallest of changes in system behaviour. This allows more precise targeting of threats and allows proportionate actions based on the scale of the attack. In the long run, this allows the core business systems to go about their business while threats are neutralized at their origin without disturbing any balance of power. 

A cybersecurity approach modelled on the immune system brings about greater flexibility and creates better protection for any modern digital information system.  

It can complement human monitoring and the threat mitigation frameworks already in place. This will ensure that irrespective of the scale of growth business experiences, its digital security measures evolve naturally by self-learning and cover the entire plethora of business use cases the information systems may encounter.  

The primary goal of enterprise leaders should be to set up an ecosystem of security measures that assure a risk-free digital landscape at every step of their growth. This is where Darktrace can make a key difference. Building on the principles of the immune system approach, Darktrace leverages a host of AI and self-learning models to quickly assess and integrate with modern digital ecosystems. It can enable autonomous responses, leverage AI to better understand threats and proactively mitigate them and alert or prepare human security engineers with clear reports on what they need to focus on. 

Get in touch with us to explore Darktrace in detail and learn how it can bring a truly revolutionary and risk-free digital landscape to your business.  

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