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IT Pros Agree: AI and Machine Learning Key for the Future of Security

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We’d all like to think our company’s data is well protected, but when you ask IT professionals they admit the data probably is not as safe as it could be.

In fact, 62 percent of IT professionals from around the globe reported that their security infrastructure has gaps that would allow attackers to penetrate their defenses.

That shocking admission is one of the findings of a recent report by the Ponemon Institute, which examined modern IT security gaps and how artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) could help close those gaps.

The study also reported a few other findings of interest, such as:

  • 45 percent of respondents struggle to protect the expanding IT perimeters caused by the Internet of Things (IoT), Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), mobile, and cloud storage solutions.
  • 46 percent of respondents point to the persistence, sophistication, expertise, and funding of attackers as a key reason why data breaches are so common.
  • 64 percent of respondents believe that new technologies, including AI and ML, are necessary to detect and understand threats.

Cutting-edge technologies like AI and ML will give IT professionals the tool needed to stay ahead of external cybercriminals and the ever-evolving methods they use to extort, manipulate, and destroy your precious data.

New Defenses to Counter New Threats

Regularly backing up your systems, applications, and files remains the best way to limit business interruption and enable more dependable disaster recovery. However, modern cybercriminals are adapting to these defenses. Today, many malware attacks (particularly ransomware) target your backup files, backup software, and backup agents in order to eliminate the ability to recover your systems without having to pay the ransom.

To protect your company’s data, you need a modern, proactive data protection solution that is designed with modern risks in mind – one that targets the biggest threats across your entire data environment to protect both the original and backup files.

The Promise of AI-based Security

Acronis Active Protection, included in all of Acronis backup solutions for both home and business users, uses an artificial intelligence and machine learning modeling to recognize and halt ransomware attacks in real time.

Machine learning models are generated in Acronis’ dedicated cloud AI infrastructure by analyzing hundreds of thousands of computer processes – both legitimate and malicious. Those models are then incorporated into Acronis Active Protection, which monitors your system in real time, analyzing the behaviors of every process in order to detect unusual activities, such as unauthorized encryption.

When a suspicious process is identified, Acronis’ technology stops the attack and immediately notifies users or IT administrators – saving time and simplifying their response.

Why Machine Learning Works for Threat Detection

Solutions that search for known strains of ransomware can only protect your system against a small portion of attacks. Yet it leaves your business data vulnerable to attack from never-before-seen ransomware attacks.

Because of its continuous data analysis, Acronis Active Protection recognizes new threats before industry experts have identified and developed defensive systems for them. Those machine learning models define threats through system behaviors, not code. This difference helps allows the solution to recognize processes that are abnormal all in real-time.

This model is applied to all devices, systems, and backup files to keep criminals from disrupting the Acronis application, the backup file content, and the Master Boot Record on Windows-based computers.

Automating Recovery and Managing the Defense

In responding to the Ponemon survey, security experts from around the world agreed that the most significant benefit AI-based solutions could offer was to reduce the time and effort required to investigate a security risk. Acronis Active Protection easily addresses that concern by instantly notifying users that an attack was launched and providing options for instant responses – but the solution also tackles the other top concerns raised in the survey.

The next most important benefits, according to the respondents, was minimizing false positive alerts, stopping attacks before damage occurs, and automating tasks for investigating and responding to attacks.

The machine learning models, which allow Acronis’ technology to instantly stop an attack, are already designed to reduce false positives. While those models are frequently updated, administrators also further reduce false positives with an intuitive and easy-to-use whitelist. Programs that are supposed to perform certain actions can be added to the whitelist so they can operate normally, without being falsely flagged as ransomware.

In terms of automating the response to attacks, Acronis Active Protection is always at the ready. If any files are altered or damaged during an attack, our defense automatically restores the file by retrieving a clean copy from the backup files.

For IT administrators, the streamlined automation featured in Acronis’ integrated defense means their system can be back to operating as normal before anyone else in the organization even realizes there was an attack.

Final Thoughts

If there’s one thing the industry knows, it’s that cybercriminals are tenacious. They will continually exploit new technologies and methods of attack to gain access to your systems – which means you need to deploy new, innovative solutions that can reliably combat their attacks. Thankfully, all Acronis backup solutions include cutting-edge AI and ML technologies to actively detect and defend against these threats – before they can threaten your data.


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by:Andrew Leniart
Great article that explains the importance of not just relying on definitions based security solutions. Thanks for writing this. Interesting read!

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