infoTECH Feature

January 29, 2019

Juniper: Can Businesses Beat Security Threats with AI?

If security isn’t top of mind at your business, you probably shouldn’t be running one – and you likely won’t be for long.  But, despite the critical importance of security today, it’s hard to dispute how much time it can take to secure an entire business, which is why automation and artificial intelligence are emerging as key parts of security solutions.  Juniper’s head of cybersecurity strategy Nick Bilogorskiy is speaking to this at AIOps Expo in Ft. Lauderdale and took time to give us a little preview of what we can expect from his panel.

Please tell us a bit about the latest news at your company

There are a lot of exciting things happening at Juniper right now. In October, we launched Juniper EngNet, which is our effort to bring automation to the masses by delivering resources to help customers understand and learn Juniper’s automation technologies.

On the security side, in December we announced critical updates to our Juniper Advanced Threat Prevention Appliances (JATP) that allow security teams to easily create custom data collectors right in the JATP Appliances platform without the need for customer code or pre-defined integrations, with the goal of simplifying security data integration. This new capability introduces easy-to-use customization controls for security analysts to collect, parse and pinpoint specific data without relying on outsourced customizations. It also automatically integrates with the single, comprehensive timeline view offered by the JATP Appliances, streamlining investigation and remediation by bringing the most important threat behavior details to the forefront more quickly. With JATP Appliances, enterprises can detect malware and respond to threats with one touch and simplify operations in multi-vendor environments.

What pains are you taking away for customers?

Juniper’s mission is to take the complex and make it simple. In our industry, there is so much complexity – from networking to data storage to security – it can be hard for customers to focus on what they do best in the midst of it all. We aim to shift the burden of the difficult from our customers onto us. 

How is cloud acceptance changing how your customers or your company operates?

Juniper has a strong cloud arm that is an important player across the business. With so many organizations moving to the cloud, it’s more important than ever to consider a holistic security approach. This is where security and cloud really come together. Customers that are considering new cloud strategies are also looking to revamp their security posture, and Juniper can help with every piece along the way.

How is open-source changing technology and how your company does business?

There has recently been a titanic shift in priorities for enterprises around open source. Long seen as a potential risk, open source is now widely understood and embraced.  Many enterprises have “open source first” strategies. For most, this is about retaining control, not reducing costs. By using open source widely within an enterprise, many new possibilities open up. First, it often grants enterprises a choice of which vendor they want to use for support of that software. Second, they can accelerate feature development using their own or contracted resources. Third, they can be one of many like-minded organizations in the same community trying to develop the software together, distributing risk and pooling resources. The result, of course, is a need for strong open source talent.

How can blockchain transform your industry?

Blockchain has huge potential within the cybersecurity industry – specifically helping in the areas of identity and data integrity. At Juniper, we see blockchain as a technology that brings new levels of trust to digital business. As a distributed, decentralized ledger, blockchain contains data integrity and authenticity characteristics that can guarantee trust among untrusted parties as they conduct digital transactions. And that opens up a world of possibilities.

What implications does AI have for your business and your customers?

AI has numerous implications both for our industry and our customers. The rise of AI and Machine Learning can be used to help kickstart automation, drive cloud adoption and streamline data center productions. The flipside of that is that AI also opens the door for more advanced and personal cyberattacks. We are already seeing the advantages of AI, but recognize that the “good guys” aren’t the only ones to benefit. 

What new opportunities does IoT bring your company?

IoT represents the next stage in the internet’s evolution and adoption is now at an inflection point – moving from early experimentation to business scale. Realizing the full potential of IoT requires at-scale deployment. We expect IoT to evolve through three stages: Connected, Intelligent, Autonomous. At each stage, it’s imperative that network operations and cybersecurity evolve as well. Juniper is able to help with software-defined infrastructure, security, edge computing and automation solutions that address and simplify the tasks that could otherwise derail big IoT projects. For example, network segmentation is part of a secure network practice in order to limit the extent of any cyber intrusion. The ability to segregate networks is dependent on the size of the IoT network and capabilities of connected devices. Use cases such as the connected home or consumer products will not have network segmentation in the IoT device domain, but enterprise deployments of IoT, such as manufacturing facilities and critical infrastructure, are likely to utilize some type of network segmentation.

What is your perception of The Future of Work and how new tech is changing the face of communications?

With regards to the Future of Work, I believe that some occupations will experience a decline and become extinct while others grow and new occupations are created. We will increasingly look to machines and AI programs to augment our work on various simple and/or repetitive tasks to free up human talent. Automation is already affecting portions of many jobs to some degree, depending on the type of work. But, the hardest activities for machines to do are those that require managing and developing people or those that utilize and apply expertise to decision making, planning and creative work.

What is the greatest challenge?

The greatest challenge facing the cybersecurity industry is hands down the lack of qualified cybersecurity professionals. This talent gap is significant and is growing larger. According to (ISC)²’s 2018 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, the global shortage of cybersecurity professionals is verging on 3 million, with North America's demand overtaking supply by 498,000. It is really hard to quickly grow the talent pool, as most cybersecurity skills are learned on the job and come with experience in the industry, not in school.

Why should your session be on the list of must-attend sessions at this year’s conference?

Anyone who faces security threats should attend my session – that means everyone! During this panel, attendees will learn about the looming security threats organizations are facing today as well as the tools and tricks to combat them.

Please make an interesting prediction about tech in 2019?

In 2019, many 5G pilot deployments will come to estimate the security concerns brought about by this migration. A lot of it will be scaling existing services to the speeds that 5G offers to secure connections. At the same time, IoT deployments will be even more prevalent and service providers will have to deal with many more infected devices, unleashing DDoS attacks at scale orders of magnitude larger than we have seen in the past.

Nick will be participating in a panel discussion, Transforming Security and IT to Stop Attacks in Their Tracks, on Thursday, January 31.

Edited by Erik Linask

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