With the increasing use of personal assistants in the home, what should customers be mindful of to protect their personal information?

You have to be vigilant, and this starts with getting back to basics, such as securing your home Wi-Fi network, which really is the virtual door into your home. Make sure you have WPA2 encryption enabled and have a strong, unique password. Then, change the default login settings, install software updates and disable features that are not needed.

It’s very easy to love convenience, especially if you can ask your home assistant to restock your pantry. But is your shopping list really as private as you think it is? Once someone gains access, it’s far more than your list exposed. Your banking information, personal data and corporate data you interact with or connect to from your home office is all vulnerable. Never make the mistake of dropping security for convenience.

In an era of major customer data breaches, how can artificial intelligence (AI) help to predict, protect and prevent more effectively than past technologies?

The foundation of AI is logs. You have to have an input. Being able to leverage big data analytics is great, but AI is an avenue that works hand-in-hand with traditional and current technologies to drive insight and alter behavior.

Many past technologies leverage signature-based detections, which are easy for adversaries to change. AI and behavioral-based technologies focus on the patterns of attack, which are much harder to constantly change. By focusing on behavior, AI can leverage data features to determine answers to questions such as what might happen next or what the best corrective action is for the current situation. It will be interesting to watch the intersection of AI and security operations, analytics and reporting. If AI algorithms truly begin to predict and prevent attacks, allowing them to automatically integrate with other security platforms could be huge.
 
What is the biggest myth behind AI cybersecurity you’d like to debunk?

The biggest myth is that AI can make sense of any data, because there has to be quality data in order for the algorithms to work correctly. AI won’t be able to solve our cybersecurity problems completely. All these advancements in AI and machine learning are not supposed to replace traditional security measures and cyber hygiene; they’re supposed to enhance what’s currently in place. As attacks become more automated and sophisticated, defenders will need tools to match that. AI is one answer to that challenge as we grow past signature-based detection. 

What do you think the next generation of cyber threats will look like? Does AI play a role in defending against these threats?

It’s hard to say what the next generation of cyber threats will look like. The real question may be, who will be targeted? Industries that have a major influence on our economy and society, such as health care and manufacturing — and even government systems themselves — will be targets. 

But cybercriminals are evolving just as much as security professionals. They’re using tools like AI, machine learning, technologies, algorithms — you name it — and defense mechanisms are finding it difficult to keep up. 
 
What role do you see blockchain/distributed ledger technology (DLT) playing in the future of asset management and cybersecurity?

There is a misconception that blockchain is a single secure impenetrable location like Fort Knox, but in reality. Blockchain resolves the issues of lack of trust and human error while providing accuracy. If blockchain technology were integrated properly, it could help reduce the risk of a breach – assuming blockchain is used to complement the existing security infrastructure and technology. 

So many organizations are still lacking in terms of how they store and protect customer data and identities, and these systems can help going forward solve the question of how data is stored and where. I wonder: As DLT and blockchain technology evolves, will corporations pay you to access to your information?