Right now, we’re living through a period of almost unprecedented technological change. It can be easy sometimes to get caught up in the excitement of this change and miss the bigger picture; the wider themes that tie our past to our future. That’s why at Trend Micro we’re proud to have been able to execute on a consistent and unwavering vision over the past 29 years: to make the world a safer place in which to exchange digital information.
It was a great honor for me to be invited last week to speak to attendees at Mobile World Congress Shanghai about this vision, our formula for success, and how the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are redefining our modern world.
A changing landscape
The challenges faced in cybersecurity today are well known, and they closely mirror the changes in the IT landscape. One of the most impactful transitions in IT infrastructure is related to IoT, which is already radically redefining the way we live and work. Some estimates claim there’ll be 50 billion connected devices in operation by 2020, powering everything from baby monitors to smart kettles, and connected cars to life-saving medical pumps.
As with any major technological shift, the bad guys are more than ready and able to exploit any gaps in our cyber protection. Sadly, many of the threat scenarios we predicted in our end-of-year report based on this trajectory been borne out.
Think about the Mirai botnet DDoS attacks last year. With one vulnerability found on some IP cameras, half the internet in the US was taken down in just a few short hours. This was not an isolated threat, but one that could easily be replicated utilizing any number of vulnerabilities in connected devices – anywhere from the manufacturing floor to people’s home networks.
The power of AI
The introduction of AI is also impacting the changing technology and security landscape. The combination of AI with IoT results in immense benefits, including personalizing healthcare, improving agriculture productivity, increasing supply chain agility in manufacturing, reducing accidents on the road, and much more. Customization and personalization is the name of the game in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
All of these changes are great – unless it falls into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, the personalization that comes from AI and IoT can turn into large scale attacks with even greater impacts than ever before. The IoT is an ecosystem riddled with vulnerabilities, including bugs in software code, poor authentication, insecure network protocols, open ports, and undetected file changes.
A formula for success
With so much rapid digital transformation, it pays to keep a calm head. That’s why at Trend Micro we’ve come up with a formula for success.
Anticipate shifts in IT infrastructure, embrace changes in user behavior and adapt protection to take account of new threats – and what do you have? XGen™: a cross-generational approach to security combining multiple layers of protection, ranging from standard tools such as signature-based detection to more advanced techniques including behavioral analysis, application control, and high-fidelity machine learning.
There’s no silver bullet claims here. The sheer breadth and variety of modern cyber threats require a comprehensive cross-generational approach to tackle them effectively, with each layer sharing intelligence with the others to provide a truly connected threat defense.
As our world continues to change at an extraordinary pace, we think this formula for success will keep the Trend Micro vision reassuringly consistent and our customers safe and secure.