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7 April, 2017 - 23:34 By Tony Quested

New weapon from Darktrace in AI arms race

darktrace, cyber security, cambridge

Cambridge cyber security firm Darktrace has broadened availability of a new weapon to fight tech terrorists in an escalating global AI arms race.

Its new Antigena software has already been deployed in the front line of machine-on-machine warfare in trials by top customers.

Darktrace was recently crowned Business of the Year in the Business Weekly Awards and its decision to make Antigena generally available signals its intent to corner the market with the first solution able to react autonomously against in-progress cyber-threats. 

The technology uses the most advanced AI algorithms to not only understand what is threatening behaviour within a network but also to understand the most appropriate action to take in response.

CEO Nicole Eagan (pictured) says cyber security has become an AI arms race and organisations should expect to start seeing AI being used by hackers too – with machine fighting machine.

Darktrace has already seen some highly sophisticated malware that mutates within the target environment. Just as self-driving cars will be part of the future of transportation, Darktrace believe self-defending networks are the future of cyber security.

Top Darktrace customers piloting Antigena have proven that the technology augments their human security teams, taking automatic action against the evolving cyber-threats targeting their networks. Instead of being a vulnerable victim, the machine fights back.

Eagan said: “Demand for Darktrace Antigena is very strong. Security teams should be spending time looking forward, analysing how business decisions impact cyber risk, not in constant firefighting mode. Darktrace Antigena’s automated response is a fundamental step change in the evolution of cyber defence and fulfils our Enterprise Immune System vision.”

Customer Michael Sherwood, CIO, City of Las Vegas, added: “Our new reality is that cyber-attacks are becoming faster than we could have ever imagined. Darktrace Antigena is the only automated response technology on the market that is capable of fighting the most important battles for us. Using Darktrace’s AI, we can now stop never-before-seen threats in their tracks, allowing us to remain uniquely proactive in the face of a rapidly-changing threat landscape.”

To date, Darktrace’s core Enterprise Immune System has detected over 30,000 previously unknown in-progress attacks. Some real-world examples of threat scenarios that Darktrace Antigena has mitigated include:-

• Capital management firm: Antigena stopped sensitive customer information from being stolen by an external attacker. It created an automatic response when an attacker was detected making suspicious connections to a device inside the network while conducting reconnaissance.

• Financial software company: Antigena swiftly mitigated a malware attack when a device was infected by a malicious Trojan which was scanning hundreds of devices for open channels of communication in a suspected attempt to exploit vulnerabilities. Antigena blocked outgoing connections from the device, allowing it to be isolated and cleaned before the infection could develop further.

• Healthcare organisation: Darktrace Antigena autonomously took action to stop a ransomware attack in its tracks. An employee inadvertently downloaded a malicious file received in an email – the malware immediately started to encrypt data on the employee’s computer. Within 30 seconds, Antigena had isolated the device and stopped the attack before it spread across the network.

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