Cutting Edge: Cybersecurity and new tech today

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We want to start a little conversation on innovation and new and emerging technology in the cybersecurity market.

With the ever-expanding demand for secure and protected work spaces, there is no doubt that technology continues to develop alongside and, on occasion, at the front of the race.
So, just what should UK organisations be on the lookout for and how could these new innovations have an impact on IT security in the UK? We take a look below;

Machine learning
As a subset of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning uses algorithms born of previous datasets and statistical analysis to make assumptions about a computer’s behaviour. The computer can then adjust its actions, even performing functions it wasn’t programmed to do.

What does this mean for security we hear you cry? Well, There are many benefits to applying machine learning to problems in the cybersecurity space. These include quickly synthesising large volumes of data, activating expert intelligence at scale, automating repetitive and manual tasks and augment analyst efficiency (enabling analysts to effectively prioritise resources).

Fifth generation (5G) technology promises to bring the high-speed, low-latency wireless infrastructure necessary for the hyper-connected, modern world. We have started to see a huge demand for this already, as last year alone global 5G connections increased 76%*. For cybersecurity that means less latency and faster attacks from threat actors.

However 5G constitutes networks linked, often weakly, because each network and device within it may have different security protocols and technology. Demand for 5G security products is boosting the security vendor ecosystem for things like next-generation firewalls and DDoS attack defence and security gateways.

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The number of IoT devices worldwide is also expected to rise – statistics show figures moving from 9.7 billion in 2020 to more than 29 billion by 2030.**

Security risks and the possibility of cyberattacks has to be considered alongside this modern technology however, whilst IoT can still collect private data, including biometric information causing a further risk to privacy. So too comes the risk of compatibility – devices should be verified and regulatory risks checked to avoid penalties.
Both IOT and OT systems are becoming increasingly connected and valuable, so organisations must protect them from new threat exposures.

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The Cloud
If you are looking for full coverage for cloud and cloud-managed environments then the newly created virtual environment solutions promise users the ability to discover their entire infrastructure and create an inventory of resources across virtual, on-premises, and the cloud. As the operating environments have become varied, managing disparate environments has also become a challenge.

AI and the future
The European Union has recently drafted a paper to provide a stable definition of an AI system as ‘software developed with one or more techniques for a given set of human-defined objectives, that generates outputs such as content, predictions, recommendations, or decisions influencing the environments they interact with.’

But what does this mean for cybersecurity in organisations across the UK? There are undoubtedly risks involved in the unbridled use of public large language models (LLMs). Organisations must tread carefully with the data they choose to submit in prompts. In particular concern is where hackers using ChatGPT (released in late 2022) – it is faster and more sophisticated and cybersecurity analysts who don’t have access to similar tools can very quickly find themselves outgunned and outsmarted by these AI-assisted attackers. ChatGPT is said to be used today to generate code for phishing emails, malware, encryption tools, and even create dark web marketplaces.

Next-generation security operations platform (SOP)
Extended Detection and Response (XDR) is a cybersecurity approach that involves collecting and analysing data from a variety of sources to identify and respond to potential threats in real-time.

Anti-malware solutions give a good/bad detection only – with EDR giving further context and tools to identify suspicious behaviour on a single system. eXtended Detection and Response tools enable security teams to look at the impact across multiple devices, networks, cloud and identity providers to give a clearer impact of an attack across the entire estate reducing MTTR.

Data Modelling Tools
There are plenty of data modelling tools today. They can help organisations understand how their data can be grouped and organised — and how it relates to larger business initiatives. They are essential, as they help performance by improving software development, analytics and business intelligence processes and documentation.

More advanced variations of this also come in tools for visualising and debugging neural networks. These tools can help developers better understand the behaviour of their neural networks and identify potential issues.

Supply Chain Security
The pace and complexity of software development is rapidly intensifying by the day. Despite the heavy reliance on Open Source Software (OSS) in the software supply chain, the industry lacks a consistent way to understand and measure risk for OSS. Platforms have more recently been designed to make it possible to use open-source software securely, thus improving software supply chain security. We hope to see more advancements in this area, so watch this space!