Here’s why Kansas City businesses need AI-powered cybersecurity

Here’s why Kansas City businesses need AI-powered cybersecurity


Individuals and organizations in Missouri and across all states are inundated with cyberthreats every day — more than any IT security team can handle by their lonesome. Sure, they have a lot of tools already at their disposal. Firewalls keep unauthorized people away from networks, antivirus software destroys known malware, and even Google helps out by blocking hundreds of millions of spam daily.

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing a massive shift toward remote working, the pressure on your IT security team has increased dramatically. Consider the following:

  • Unvetted PCs, laptops, and smartphones
    Countless users connect to your network using devices that may have unpatched vulnerabilities or carry malware such as ransomware. Additionally, home setups aren’t usually protected by firewalls or the same robust antivirus software that your organization has for its computers.

  • Vulnerable routers
    Your staff may not know that they have to replace the default passwords of their routers with strong passwords. If they don’t do this, they leave themselves open to wardriving hackers and brute force attacks. Once cybercriminals hijack a user’s router, they can commit all sorts of illicit acts in the guise of that user.

  • Zero day attacks
    Hardware and software developers race against cybercriminals to patch yet-to-be-discovered vulnerabilities. If the bad guys get to these weaknesses first, then they can exploit these to gain unfettered access to your data. The same thing can happen if you fail to apply patches as soon as these are available..

  • Unsecure connections
    Users may connect to the internet using public Wi-Fi or other risky connections where hackers can intercept transmissions and steal company data.

  • Unsafe apps
    In a well-intentioned bid to become more productive, staff may help themselves to free apps, not knowing that these apps carry adware and spyware.

  • COVID-19-themed phishing emails and malicious websites
    Cybercriminals are taking advantage of people’s hunger for information and news updates about the pandemic. Victims may download malware-ridden attachments or visit spoofed websites designed to steal users’ access credentials to personal and corporate accounts. And with so many remote users connecting to your network, it’s difficult to spot malicious actors from regular employees.

As you can see, even the most vigilant in-house cybersecurity teams can be easily overwhelmed by known and unknown threats from many vectors. What they need on their side is artificial intelligence (AI).

Enter AI-powered cybersecurity
Traditional threat detection systems rely on humans to label attack signatures to thwart assaults on IT systems. In contrast, network traffic analysis (NTA) that is powered by AI can learn to label anomalous behavior mostly on its own. To illustrate, a human “mentor” can initially serve as a “guide” to an AI for it to recognize normal user behavior, such as logging in via known devices in specific locations and accessing the usual departmental data. Activities outside the set norm can be flagged as suspicious and blocked until determined to be safe.

In time, NTA systems equipped with machine learning can predict outcomes based on historical data and without human intervention at all. For instance, such systems can learn to recognize both unauthorized data exfiltration events and the circumstances that lead to such events. Generative unsupervised learning systems in particular can thwart zero day attacks by identifying incidents that are likely to produce undesirable results.

In short, AI-powered NTA takes much of the burden of network monitoring and threat response from your IT security team, making your company’s cybersecurity posture stronger.

To learn more about how advancements in cybersecurity and IT in general can help your business thrive, contact Umbrella today. Our IT specialists are ready to provide you with the expert advice you need to leverage the IT solutions that will work best for you.

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