Cybersecurity companies turn to artificial intelligence to fight against human workers

If you are going to play the AI ​​game at the RSA 2019 Conference, you can not get away with it alive.

Prior to the largest industry show in San Francisco, vendors have already touted AI-based solutions to address one of the industry's most pressing issues: the shortage of skilled workers to defend against cyberattacks. Over the past week, both networks Palo Alto Inc.

PANW, -0.30%

and Microsoft Corp.

MSFT, + 0.47%

announced new AI-branded services to address the often cited lack of cybersecurity workers who are skilled at dealing with an ever-increasing number of cyber attacks.

In a report released Thursday, Cisco Systems Inc.

CSCO, -0.55%

said that the industry could actually calm down for AI-powered cyber security. In a survey of more than 3,000 security experts, two-thirds said they would count on Amnesty International, compared to 74% of them in 2018.

Cisco has found that information security managers, also known as RSSIs, "are increasingly confident that cloud migration will improve protection efforts, while apparently reducing the use of less-sophisticated technologies." proven such as artificial intelligence ".

"Artificial intelligence and machine learning, which are well used, are essential in the early stages of setting priorities and managing alerts," the Cisco report says. "However, trust in these technologies has diminished, as interviewees may have the impression that the tools are still in their infancy or that they are not ready for prime time."

However, cybersecurity companies may have little choice with respect to AI solutions as they struggle to find skilled workers who can develop products or respond to threats. When Microsoft announced its Azure Sentinel offering this week, Ann Johnson, who heads Microsoft's Cybersecurity Solutions Group, said in a blog post that the AI ​​security product is expected to address a shortage of about 3.5 million skilled cybersecurity by 2022. from the research firm Cybersecurity Ventures.

Lily: Technological value slide could be a turning point for cybersecurity purchases in 2019

Microsoft has introduced its Azure Sentinel product as the first SIEM tool (native security information management and security event) within a major cloud platform. According to Johnson, early users of Azure Sentinel reported a 90% reduction in alert fatigue, workers already stressed in cybersecurity finding false alarms and extremely short hunting times in seconds .

Sentinel unveiled Sentinel just two days after Palo Alto Networks unveiled its new offering, the Cortex security product, presented by Palo Alto Networks as "the only open and integrated open security platform in the industry, based on 39; IA ". with a huge profit beat and the prospects of Palo Alto Networks.

Nikesh Arora, President and CEO of Palo Alto, said Tuesday that his clients report receiving three to ten times more cybersecurity alerts than five years ago. they have to hire more people to analyze the alerts.

Expect to hear about many more AI-assisted solutions emanating from the 2019 RSA conference being held for a week in San Francisco and starting Monday. In addition to AI, companies are likely to focus on the need for consolidation of the sector, as well as details on the types of attacks that are becoming more prevalent.

The consolidation of the sector or the need for fewer suppliers, a problem that was much talked about at last year's RSA, seems to be gaining even more appeal. The Cisco report indicates that 63% of CISOs surveyed said they had reduced the number of vendors they were dealing with to 10 or less, compared to 54% in 2017, according to Cisco.

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Cisco and Palo Alto Networks both contribute to this consolidation trend. Last year, Cisco bought Duo for $ 2.35 billion and Palo Alto Networks acquired companies such as and RedLock and recently announced the Demisto acquisition for $ 560 million.

Not to mention AI, Symantec Corp.

SYMC, + 0.37%

announced Thursday the update of its integrated cyber defense platform "to reduce the costs and complexity of cybersecurity".

In other reports before RSA, Trend Micro Inc.

4704 + 1.09%

said Tuesday that "attacks that capitalize on the human desire to respond to urgent requests from the authority" are escalating, and that email phishing attempts to businesses are up 269% compared to 2017.

Moody's Investors Service also said four sectors, with a debt of $ 11.7 trillion, were at high risk of being hacked or injured by cyberattacks. Named sectors include banks, brokerage firms, market infrastructure providers and hospitals.

"New technologies and the lack of qualified cyber security personnel contribute to the risks," said Moody's. "In response to the growing capabilities of attackers, companies around the world must constantly strengthen their core security in order to avoid becoming unintentional collateral damage from attacks and becoming easy targets for less sophisticated hackers." .

Since cybersecurity revenues began to take hold for the season, it has been launched by Juniper Networks Inc.

JNPR, + 0.08%

disappointing results at the end of January, the ETFMG Prime Cyber ​​Security ETF

HACK, + 0.86%

increased by approximately 11% and the First Trust Nasdaq Cyber ​​Security Program

CIBR, + 0.38%

grew by more than 12%, while the S & P 500 index rose by 6%

SPX, + 0.70%

and an 8% rise in the Nasdaq Composite Index, a high tech fund

COMP + 0.84%

These earnings were followed by solid results from Symantec and Proofpoint Inc.

TCTP, + 0.30%

with beat gains from Fortinet Inc.

FTNT, + 0.15%

Rapid7 Inc.

DPR, + 1.93%

ForeScout Technologies Inc.

TBSF, + 4.69%

Mimecast Ltd.

MIME, + 0.67%

OneSpan Inc.

OSPN, + 0.00%

and Cisco. Income from FireEye Inc.

feye, + 0.48%

Qualys Inc.

QLYS, + 1.47%

and Carbonite Inc.

CARB -1.20%

also outperformed Street's outlook, but weaker than expected prospects weighed on the respective stocks.

Thursday at the end of the day, quarterly results for Zscaler Inc.

ZS + 22.83%

and Splunk Inc.

SPLK, -1.05%

Wall Street estimates that Zscaler shares rose Friday, but not those of Splunk.

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