By: Lloyd McCoy Jr., Manager, Market Intelligence, immixGroup
Real talk is finally starting on how to actually implement proactive cyber defense. We have to stop taking it on the chin from bad actors who find cyber intrusion and electronic warfare relatively simple and free from consequence.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is being touted as the next go-to technology for understanding potential threats in nearly every theater of war—from cybercrime to electronic warfare.
At a recent forum for government IT professionals, Ardisson Lyons of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) said using standardized cloud-based platforms can improve big data analysis and consumption. An “Intelligent Simulation Center” can help immerse decision-makers in the information in a dynamic way.
Jason Matheny of the DOD’s Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity emphasized that AI allows us to get inside the adversary’s decision-making. With that capability, we can better understand real and potential threats, see how the adversary reacts and then provide courses of actions based on data.
This increases the need for better trust and information sharing among experts in government agencies. As DIA’s Lyons noted, there is a clear value to having human analysts involved in the AI process – understanding why things are happening requires depth and craft that’s missing from technology.
For a proactive defense to work, we can’t have organizations sit back and just let people do their thing. We must improve trust among agencies, across government, and with non-government parties to share information and use their best minds to analyze information from all sources. We cannot hope to win against enemies with global reach if our solutions are isolated from one another.
Also, our solutions must be proactive, not reactive. After-the-fact approaches to cybersecurity are hard to implement and expensive. Unlike the fabled Little Dutch Boy plugging holes in dikes with his fingers, we will soon run out of fingers and further reaction will become practically impossible. Proactive defense is key to managing risk to operations and making cyberattacks costlier for attackers.
In the end, it’s about deterrents, and I firmly believe in the value of deterrents. A relentless enemy must be faced with a proactive defense that introduces complexity, to make the enemy think twice about what they are doing.
Without it, bad actors will do whatever they want. Ultimately you won’t stop attacks altogether, but you will be able to slow them down. And in the process, you’ll learn more about the threats that are out there, waiting for the opportunity to be used against unsuspecting communities.
This blog post originally appeared in Government Infosec.
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