Cross-cultural research and technology at work.
I recently talked with a man from South Africa who is on the board of an organization using exponential technologies to end poaching of endangered species.
He explained to me what it involved using zebras as an illustration of what this fascinating technology can achieve.
Like many African animals, zebra numbers are declining fast. Where there was once 15,000 roaming across the savannah lands, there is now only 2, 500.
Threats normally come from a reduction in habitat as land is used for livestock and agriculture. From poor practices in both these areas, there has been significant environmental damage which has sorely affected zebra numbers.
However, their unique hides are now becoming more and more valuable. Like our finger prints, no two patterns are the same. The distinctive black and white stripes could now be the downfall of the species’ existence in the wild.
Apart from some applauded efforts, the population of animals continue to suffer because local police and game wardens are battling an ineffective fight against the Somalis who are flying in via helicopter and using hi-powered rifles to kill the animals. The Somalis’ approach is so fast and swift little could be done to stop them.
Like wild horses, their distant cousins, zebras have an exceptional sense of smell, eyesight and hearing. However, they have one other behavior that has got scientists’ interest piqued and has resulted in an amazing example of Artificial Intelligence.
How is Artificial Intelligence saving zebras?
Scientists are using drones to monitor many aspects of the Zebra’s life. More importantly, this includes monitoring poaches and tracking the Zebras.
This example of Artificial Intelligence is remarkable.
The AI sensor can, not only, tell when a zebra twitches, but it can distinguish between different types of twitches.
Apparently a zebra twitches and reacts differently if it sees a predator such as a lion or a human being. The twitches may act as a signal to others or as an impulse to the zebras natural defense, to run.
The zebra’s twitch is an indication of how much danger it perceives it is in.
However, tracking how the Zebra’s twitch is not the end of it.
The AI sensor links to a high speed connection between South Africa and Belgium to monitor and relay this activity to Belgium which acts as a SOC – Security Ops Center.
What happens next is extraordinary.
The Belgium SOC notifies the park rangers in Mozambique who wear sensors in their boots and deploys the park rangers who are nearest to the situation.
What is amazing to me is the direct correlation between the physical world issues and our global digital world.
IT Support and SOC (Security Operations Center) affects the internet globally in regards to IT Security. We are using drones and AI to address issues that are also relevant in IT Security today.
Police in Belgium know that drug money flowing into their country follows a similar path to the poaching dollar. It’s this connection that has driven them to use this amazing technology.
It is also a wonderful example of Artificial Intelligence in action.
The link between saving endangered animals and cyber security.
The similarities between the animal kingdom and the domain of cyber security are very interesting.
Your internet security is being overwhelmed by bandits hailing from China, Russia and organized crime syndicates like the Mafia.
Their ability to infiltrate your hardware and software and cause a security breach is becoming frighteningly sophisticated.
So sophisticated, in fact, that finding how or where the breach is in many cases of cyber security is like identifying a needle in a haystack.
The real problem is being able to distinguish and separate “a true signal” from just a “noise”.
I have no doubt you are already using premise tools such as traditional hardware and software to protect your company.
You also use off premise operations too, such as managed Security Services for example, to find and remediate any breach in security.
Alert Logic and RedZone and others offer these services.
What you are looking for is one particular twitch that is out of sync in the cacophony of noise. And, not only do you need to find and identify it you are then required to respond quickly and accurately.
If you are not considering Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning and Machine Learning in your future do so now. We are at a point where machine capabilities need to be leveraged more than humans.
What are the next steps you can take to leverage Advanced and Exponential Technologies?
As you talk with your team, hardware, software vendors and outsourced MSSP vendors ask them:
1) To show you their AI – Artificial Intelligence roadmap
2) To show you their Machine Learning roadmap
3) To Show their Deep Learning roadmap
These roadmaps should play intricate part of your company’s strategy. They should provide the opportunity for you to discuss and collaborate with your CIO, CFO and CEO. They allow you to discuss and dissect the way forward in regards to investments.
As well, these roadmaps will indicated how the technology you employ will ultimately protect and drive the business in the future.
Visualizing the future related to points 1-3 above will enable you to introduce and implement new projects and visualize how investments in IT cyber security related to these technologies will benefit your company.
The big three Exponential Technologies and how they are going to eventually serve you in cyber security.
AI will provide your company with machines that have the capabilities of simulating intelligent human behavior. The main problem is stealth and, the fact that, most threats are quiet and sit patiently for months. See reference link here.
Finding these cracks in the armor, as it were, and fixing them before IT criminals get in is imperative to your company’s online security. Your team’s eyeballs are not working and seeing the incremental permission elevation and the lateral movement that is occurring. There is too much subtlety and this is the world best suited for AI and Machine Learning.
Machine Learning involves the study of pattern recognition and computational learning theory in Artificial Intelligence.
Like the difference between the twitches the zebras make machine learning creates algorithms that can learn and make predictions. Predictions of human error and more intentional breaches will allow you to clearly see what needs to be done to create the protection you need.
Deep Learning is a set of algorithms based on machine learning that create high-level abstractions in data. This is particularly useful in face recognition software and facial expressions software, for example.
It is only a matter of time before AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning work together to enhance your security programs. Part of IT Sec Planning is Tactics and part of it is Strategy.
For now AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning is strategy and not tactics. You can plan for the inevitable integration of these technologies into your enterprise by going to CIO Security Scoreboard to learn how to prepare your organization.
Sign up for an online 30 minute demonstration of how CIO Security Scoreboard and help you find that needle in a haystack.