Presented by ESET

How AI growth is changing the future of digital security

The explosive growth of mobile in South Africa over the next decade poses a security challenge for businesses that Artificial Intelligence is being developed to address.

This is according to Arthur Goldstuck at the ESET Security Day, who was discussing the mainstream technologies in the coming decade and the massive IT security challenge that lies ahead.

“In the next decade, there are 3 certainties,” Goldstuck said.

“By 2020, your businesses will be mobile and therefore digital. Your customer will be mobile. And both you and your customers will be more vulnerable than ever before.”

Goldstuck attributes this to the steep growth of connectedness due to rapid smartphone adoption locally, with 2016 seeing more than half of South Africans owning smartphones.

South Africa is no longer looking at mobile first, it’s moving to mobile only, and the new internet users on smartphones do not have a back up device such as desktop or laptop computers.

“Internet growth in South Africa has no ceiling yet, increasing from the current 20.1 internet users in 2016 to 24.6 million by 2020,” he explains.

As such, digital participation is expected to increase steeply by 2020, with as many as 10 million new users coming online.

“These users will be experienced and will expect your business to be digital with sites, apps and digital services, but this will present major security challenges for your business,” Goldstuck adds.

“The challenge will increasingly be to protect both yourself and your customers in this variable future, where your customers and users have different demands, experience and needs.”

Meeting this challenge requires a focus on security, flexibility and scalability, and cloud computing and AI plays an important role in this.

While cloud computing has become hugely pervasive, AI still has a way to go, but Goldstuck believes it will be truly intelligent by 2021.

“AI is still quite rudimentary, especially looking at the current Chatbots that are being developed, but this technology is still very new,” he says.

“In the next decade it will have advanced to the point where you could easily believe that you are chatting to a human being.”

As AI becomes more intelligent, it will also become increasingly important in security, and you will have an army of robots looking after your customer data and protecting you from attacks.

AI will employ machine-learning techniques to learn from the data in a similar way to humans, effectively programming themselves in order to make predictions.

For digital security, AI will focus on prediction based on thousands of properties learnt from earlier data, detecting both old, previously known attacks, as well as new, previously unknown attacks.

All of ESET‘s security solutions resemble artificial intelligence engineered to distinguish good from evil, and are deployed as the first line of defense to protect digital data.

This “core” of anti-malware technology is continually being reinforced by the work of ESET’s specialized teams tasked with real-time analysis and evaluation of infiltrations, their behavior and trends in future malware.

For more information, visit the ESET website.

This article was published in partnership with ESET.

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How AI growth is changing the future of digital security