Defense against the dark web

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If Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Witchcraft were real, it would be teaching “artificial intelligence” and “machine learning” to thwart the threats of the dark arts today, because nothing else seems to work.

The traditional way to protect data has been to build a firewall around it; the improvements made were like the reinforcement of a castle wall.

But, sigh! the data itself no longer resides in the firewall, so how do you protect it?

At a time when your data is in the cloud or at your service providers, hackers are having a blast. Billions of passwords roam the dark web, sold and bought by crooks.

The nature of cybersecurity is changing: from protecting against malware, to actively finding a threat and neutralizing it before it hits you.

Threat monitoring solutions, such as antivirus, intrusion detection systems, and intrusion prevention systems, are not even intended to address threats posed by infrastructures exposed to the Internet.

For example, you might want to access a service provider such as a ticket reservation portal. The portal company may have robust systems to protect your data, such as your credit card details. But if the research itself has led you to a fake portal of the same name, then the robustness of the real portal’s systems is of no help.

CloudSEK, a Bengaluru-based start-up, describes itself as an “artificial intelligence-based digital risk management company”. He specializes in the field called “intelligence on external threats”. Sourabh Issar, CEO of the company, says their AI / ML-based threat management systems detect and deliver actionable reports to customers.

“We are basically the eyes and ears of our customers,” Issar said. Quantum.

CloudSEK primarily analyzes the Internet for its customers. The analysis generates thousands of alerts; a machine learning algorithm distills the results and identifies a few real and exploitable threats. Over time, the system has improved with more data and feedback. With the algorithms in place, the task now is to minimize false positives and false negatives, which is what the company’s technical staff primarily do today.

The cyber threat is very real and pervasive, Issar says, citing a number of Indian companies, including pharmaceuticals, that have been breached in recent times. The need of the hour is therefore not only to react to attacks, but also to anticipate and mitigate.

CloudSEK has big names among its clients – HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Bank, Airtel, Reliance and National Payment Corporation of India. From six to its beginnings three years ago, it now has more than 80 clients.

The start-up was founded by Rahul Sasi, a former Citrix employee who describes himself as an ethical hacker. He is currently its executive chairman. The company employs around 100 technicians.

Issar claims that his threat alert success rate is over 95%, which he describes as quite high by industry standards.

The start-up was funded by Inflexor, a venture capital firm focused on advanced technology, and is expected to announce its second round of funding soon.


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