Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 49 - Page 70

INTELLIGENT BRANDS // Enterprise Security

BT to deploy ‘ epidemiological AI ’ based on the spread of viruses in humans to combat cyberattacks

BT ’ s newly created Inflame solution has been developed to understand how computer viruses and cyberattacks spread across enterprise networks and how to prevent them from happening .

BT has announced that it has developed an epidemiology-based cybersecurity prototype , ‘ Inflame ’, which uses deep reinforcement learning to enable enterprises to automatically detect and respond to cyberattacks before they compromise a network . Using the spread of viruses in human populations as a model to inform its AI , Inflame is a key component in BT ’ s recently announced Eagle-i platform .

Epidemiological modelling is typically associated with the spread of viruses and diseases among human populations – and has been critical in analysing and managing the spread of COVID-19 over the past 20 months . Using the same principals of epidemiology , BT ’ s Inflame solution has been developed to understand how computer viruses and cyberattacks spread across enterprise networks and how to prevent them from happening .
To develop the technology , security researchers at the BT Labs in Suffolk , UK , built models of enterprise networks which were used to test numerous scenarios based on differing cyber-infection R rates ( the ‘ R rate ’ in epidemiology being used to quantify the spread of infectious diseases in a population ).
This testing enabled the research team to understand how these threats can penetrate and compromise a network and develop optimal automated responses needed to contain and prevent the spread of viruses across them .
The deep reinforcement training and learning undertaken in the development of Inflame means the solution can automatically model and respond to a detected threat within an enterprise network . These responses are also underpinned by ‘ attack life cycle ’ modelling , which assesses real-time security alerts against established patterns to understand the current stage of an ongoing cyberattack . This insight is used to predict the next stages of an attack and rapidly identify the best response to prevent it from progressing any further .
BT recently announced its transformational cyberdefence platform , Eagle-i , which uses AI to provide real-time detection of issues and intelligent automated responses . The platform has been designed to self-learn from the intelligence provided by each intervention , so that it constantly improves its threat knowledge and dynamically refines how it protects other users going forward .
“ We know the risk of cyberattack is higher than ever and has intensified significantly during the pandemic . Enterprises now need to look to new cybersecurity solutions that can understand the risk and consequence of an attack and quickly respond before it ’ s too late ,” said Howard Watson , Chief Technology Officer , BT .
“ Epidemiological testing has played a vital role in curbing the spread of infection during the pandemic and Inflame uses the same principles to understand how current and future digital viruses spread through networks . Inflame will play a key role in how BT ’ s Eagle-i platform automatically predicts and identifies cyberattacks before they impact , protecting customers ’ operations and reputation .” p
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