Apr
10
2019
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The right way to do AI in security

Artificial intelligence applied to information security can engender images of a benevolent Skynet, sagely analyzing more data than imaginable and making decisions at lightspeed, saving organizations from devastating attacks. In such a world, humans are barely needed to run security programs, their jobs largely automated out of existence, relegating them to a role as the button-pusher on particularly critical changes proposed by the otherwise omnipotent AI.

Such a vision is still in the realm of science fiction. AI in information security is more like an eager, callow puppy attempting to learn new tricks – minus the disappointment written on their faces when they consistently fail. No one’s job is in danger of being replaced by security AI; if anything, a larger staff is required to ensure security AI stays firmly leashed.

Arguably, AI’s highest use case currently is to add futuristic sheen to traditional security tools, rebranding timeworn approaches as trailblazing sorcery that will revolutionize enterprise cybersecurity as we know it. The current hype cycle for AI appears to be the roaring, ferocious crest at the end of a decade that began with bubbly excitement around the promise of “big data” in information security.

But what lies beneath the marketing gloss and quixotic lust for an AI revolution in security? How did AL ascend to supplant the lustrous zest around machine learning (“ML”) that dominated headlines in recent years? Where is there true potential to enrich information security strategy for the better – and where is it simply an entrancing distraction from more useful goals? And, naturally, how will attackers plot to circumvent security AI to continue their nefarious schemes?

How did AI grow out of this stony rubbish?

The year AI debuted as the “It Girl” in information security was 2017. The year prior, MIT completed their study showing “human-in-the-loop” AI out-performed AI and humans individually in attack detection. Likewise, DARPA conducted the Cyber Grand Challenge, a battle testing AI systems’ offensive and defensive capabilities. Until this point, security AI was imprisoned in the contrived halls of academia and government. Yet, the history of two vendors exhibits how enthusiasm surrounding security AI was driven more by growth marketing than user needs.

Oct
04
2018
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BlackBerry races ahead of security curve with quantum-resistant solution

Quantum computing represents tremendous promise to completely alter technology as we’ve known it, allowing operations that weren’t previously possible with traditional computing. The downside of these powerful machines is that they could be strong enough to break conventional cryptography schemes. Today, BlackBerry announced a new quantum-resistant code signing service to help battle that possibility.

The service is meant to anticipate a problem that doesn’t exist yet. Perhaps that’s why BlackBerry hedged its bets in the announcement saying, “The new solution will allow software to be digitally signed using a scheme that will be hard to break with a quantum computer.” Until we have fully functioning quantum computers capable of breaking current encryption, we probably won’t know for sure if this works.

But give BlackBerry credit for getting ahead of the curve and trying to solve a problem that has concerned technologists as quantum computers begin to evolve. The solution, which will be available next month, is actually the product of a partnership between BlackBerry and Isara Corporation, a company whose mission is to build quantum-safe security solutions. BlackBerry is using Isara’s cryptographic libraries to help sign and protect code as security evolves.

“By adding the quantum-resistant code signing server to our cybersecurity tools, we will be able to address a major security concern for industries that rely on assets that will be in use for a long time. If your product, whether it’s a car or critical piece of infrastructure, needs to be functional 10-15 years from now, you need to be concerned about quantum computing attacks,” Charles Eagan, BlackBerry’s chief technology officer, said in a statement.

While experts argue how long it could take to build a fully functioning quantum computer, most agree that it will take between 50 and 100 qubit computers to begin realizing that vision. IBM released a 20 qubit computer last year and introduced a 50 qubit prototype. A qubit represents a single unit of quantum information.

At TechCrunch Disrupt last month, Dario Gil, IBM’s vice president of artificial intelligence and quantum computing, and Chad Rigetti, a former IBM researcher who is founder and CEO at Rigetti Computing, predicted we could be just three years away from the point where a quantum computer surpasses traditional computing.

IBM Quantum Computer

IBM Quantum Computer. Photo: IBM

Whether it happens that quickly or not remains to be seen, but experts have been expressing security concerns around quantum computing as they grow more powerful, and BlackBerry is addressing that concern by coming up with a solution today, arguing that if you are creating critical infrastructure you need to future-proof your security.

BlackBerry, once known for highly secure phones, and one of the earliest popular business smartphones, has pivoted to be more of a security company in recent years. This announcement, made at the BlackBerry Security Summit, is part of the company’s focus on keeping enterprises secure.

Sep
28
2017
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BlackBerry, yes BlackBerry, is making a comeback as a software company

 When you think about dead companies walking, BlackBerry was clearly one that came to mind, but under the leadership of CEO John Chen, the company is actually making a comeback as a software company focused on security, and it’s latest quarterly earnings report suggests the pivot is working splendidly. The company reported revenue of $249 million, which shattered analyst’s… Read More

Feb
24
2016
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BlackBerry Buys UK’s Encription To Kickstart A New Cybersecurity Consultancy

BlackBerry Classic Rear 03 BlackBerry is not the smartphone powerhouse it used to be, but it’s been making a concerted effort to hold on to its position as a go-to place for enterprise customers. As part of that strategy, today the company announced it has acquired cybersecurity firm Encription Ltd, which it will use to kickstart a new consultancy business at BlackBerry, Professional Cybersecurity… Read More

Sep
06
2015
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Android Can Dominate The Enterprise Mobility Game

android-work The convenience and versatility offered by mobile devices and the ubiquity of connectivity has caused a shift in the way we live and work. Gone are the solitary cubicles and stodgy desktops of yore, replaced by the mobile workforce user. Companies are adopting strategies like bring-your-own-device and deploying better governance policies to harness the increasing demand for enterprise mobility. Read More

Sep
04
2015
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BlackBerry Goes Shopping Again, Buys Good Technology

BlackBerry phone BlackBerry pulled a surprise move this morning when it announced that it’s purchasing mobile device management vendor Good Technology for $425 million in cash. It signals that BlackBerry, which has lost most of its worldwide handset marketshare, is shifting its focus by expanding its mobile enterprise security platform. In a way, this shift makes sense, as BlackBerry has always been… Read More

Apr
21
2015
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Confirmed: BlackBerry Is Buying File Security And DRM Startup WatchDox for up to $150M

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 12.30.04 Canadian handset maker BlackBerry has been on a mission to turn around its beleaguered handset business by focusing more on software, and it looks like it has taken a significant step in that direction, specifically around file security and DRM. According to reports coming out of Israel, now confirmed by BlackBerry itself, it is buying WatchDox, a startup that has developed… Read More

Jan
14
2015
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Samsung Reportedly Approached BlackBerry With A Takeover Bid (Update: BlackBerry Denies)

BlackBerry Classic Front Update: BlackBerry has responded with an official denial of takeover talks, while somewhat paradoxically also claiming it doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation. Full statement below: BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB) (“BlackBerry”) is aware of certain press reports published today with respect to a possible offer by Samsung to purchase BlackBerry. BlackBerry has… Read More

Nov
13
2014
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BlackBerry Teams With Samsung To Beef Up Android Security With Knox And BES12

knox BlackBerry is partnering with Samsung to make Android security more robust, using its own Knox solution for Galaxy devices, as well as BES12, BlackBerry’s enterprise device management and enterprise mobility solution. The partnership is significant on both sides, and gives Samsung and BlackBerry a way to dig in and protect market position as Apple and IBM move to own greater share of… Read More

Sep
29
2014
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BlackBerry Is Gonna Get Weird With Smartphone Design At Least Once A Year

blackberry-whatever BlackBerry could be about to become the most interesting company in the smartphone business: The Canadian telecommunications firm will deliver a minimum of one “unconventional device” per year, according to a new report from Reuters, following the launch of the square-screened Passport last week.
The Passport is definitely an outlier gadget, with its wide-bodied construction… Read More

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