Whether it’s being told that a grade one cyber-attack on the UK is inevitable, a call for a common cyber language, or the PMs speech about the ethics of AI at Davos yesterday – it’s been a busy week in terms of cyber security news. Emily Orton, Co-Founder and CMO at Darktrace commented below.

Emily Orton, Co-Founder and CMO at Darktrace:

In response to Theresa May’s speech on AI

 “It was encouraging to hear Theresa May talking about establishing the UK as a world leader in artificial intelligence at Davos yesterday, but we must not underestimate how advanced the UK already is in this area. Our science and technology skills base is second to none, and it is widely recognized that some of the biggest breakthroughs in the fields of machine learning and AI have come out of labs in our top universities.

AI is already relied on by millions of people, and particularly for the critical problem of cyber security.

Cyber security is an area where humans have been outpaced by technology: speed and scale of cyber-attacks is still increasing. However, with artificial intelligence, we’ve shown here in this country, and internationally, that we can stop attacks before they inflict damage – even ransomware, which infects and destroys so quickly.”

In response to the World Economic Forum’s report

“We welcome this report from the World Economic Forum, particularly the focus on seeking to establish a baseline of common language and on bolstering international collaboration, both of which will be critical in the fight against cyber-crime.

Organizations and governments must also recognize that radical action is required too, if we are to tackle sophisticated attackers that use methods or tools that are entirely novel.

The advances in artificial intelligence have fundamentally improved our capability to respond and keep up with increasingly subtle or advanced cyber-threats.

The World Economic Forum recognized the promise of this technology in 2015, when it named Darktrace a Technology Pioneer. Since then, more and more organizations have adopted artificial intelligence to catch some of the most challenging threats in the networks of large organizations across the world.

Today AI is relied on every second in over 5,000 networks to silently combat threats, behind the scenes.”

In response to the UK Cyber Security Centre’s warning of a major cyber attack,

“The warnings from Ciaran Martin, the head of the UK Cyber Security Centre, of the inevitability of cyber-attacks against the UK, are important and timely.

Darktrace has seen an increase in sophisticated cyber-attackers, potentially nation states, that have infiltrated critical national infrastructure, often for reconnaissance purposes. It is often very difficult for the organizations targeted to know that they have been infiltrated however, as the attacks are perpetrated over a long period of time and disguise themselves very effectively.

Now is the time to act, starting with a review of the cyber security posture of every organization and government agency. Artificial intelligence will be critical in enabling us to defend ourselves amid this new normal, spotting the earliest signs of such attacks, and responding to them, faster than people can.

While cyber-attacks might be a matter of ‘when’ and not ‘if’, artificial intelligence allows us the best chance to regain control.”

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