Accelerating AI Research to Improve Threat Protection

AI could remake cyber security.

Once the realm of science fiction, artificial intelligence (AI) is now very much science fact. The potential of this ground-breaking technology – and related disciplines including deep learning and machine learning – is so great that even governments in the UK and US have released reports on its long-term impact on society. Nowhere are the possibilities offered by AI more tantalising than in the cybersecurity industry.

That’s why Trend Micro is making significant investments in the area, including: collaborative partnerships with academia; a raft of new hires to build up expertise in the area; new product development; and initiatives including the T-Brain platform in Taiwan. We’re determined to extend our industry leading capabilities in cloud security with world-beating AI security expertise.

The future is here

AI has long been touted as a coming tidal wave of technology innovative which will change the way we live and work forever. Yet only in the past few years have technological advances finally begun to show the potential in the technology to do exactly that. Thus, we’ve seen IBM’s Watson supercomputer beat human opponents at quiz show Jeopardy. And most recently, Google’s AlphaGo program routed one of the world’s leading Go players, Lee Sedol. Carnegie Mellon University’s Libratus program has even reportedly managed to beat all-comers at Poker.

Although AI shouldn’t be seen as a “silver bullet” solution to modern threats,there are some major implications for cybersecurity. AI and machine learning can help spot zero day threats by learning normal and unusual behavior and then flagging when something’s not quite right. In so doing, it can make security products more effective at blocking threats and save IT teams much needed human resources to focus on more strategic endeavors. Trend Micro has been leveraging machine learning for several years and our high-fidelity machine learning technology forms an essential part of our XGen approach to threat defense.

All in for AI

At Trend Micro “AI” means something else for us: “All In!” From the early days of cloud computing, through big data and now AI, we’ve always been keen to invest in new technology platforms that offer better ways of protecting our global customers.

That’s why we’ve already invested in over 300 engineers with AI experience. We also recently sponsored the annual Artificial Intelligence Forum 2017– an event which will see a number of Japanese AI experts including Prof. Noda Hiroshi, the president of the RoboCup Federation, and Prof. Ishizuka from the CIC Center of National Institute of Informatics come to share their expertise in Taiwan.

Trend Micro’s capabilities have also seen us collaborate with Taiwan’s National Center for High Performance Computing (NCHC) on the “T-Brain” machine learning intelligence analysis platform, which we hope will provide a great resource to government and academia.

Accelerating AI

Trend Micro’s AI focus comes right from the top, with Chairman Steve Chang and CEO Eva Chen and  passionate about developing its potential to grow the company and enhance our products.

In fact, Steve was recently invited to give the opening address at the prestigious Artificial Intelligence Forum at Taiwan’s National Chi Nan University. In it, he stressed that the industry is accelerating at top speed towards an AI future. A clear vision, products that meet a definite market need and a staff filled with AI experts will be key to success in this area.

. It’s important to remember that Artificial Intelligence is not the answer to all our cybersecurity challenges. Like other technologies, there are pros and cons – that’s why at Trend Micro we advocate a layered approach to security combining multiple techniques. However, given that we’ve only just scratched the surface in terms of what AI could achieve,the next few years is  going to be an exciting time for all of us at Trend Micro.

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