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How can AI in mobile technology improve security?

AI can help IT better detect mobile security threats, so determine how to take advantage of this nascent technology. Prep for AI-based systems to enter the mobile security market.

As the mobile threat landscape continues to diversify, IT is constantly fighting to keep one step ahead. But AI in mobile security systems could help in the future.

Currently, the average time to detect and remediate a data breach of corporate systems is three to six months. This is unacceptable from a data security perspective, because in that time frame, most companies can lose enough information to never be able to recover.

In the future, AI in mobile security systems primarily offered as cloud-based services will bolster most discoveries, remediations and preventions of security breaches. The ability to monitor and learn from a vast array of devices -- not just ones installed at a particular organization -- and to then turn that learning into actionable intelligence to block and remediate at the individual user or device level will be critical to protect mobile workers.

Organizations that want to protect their mobile workers should look at AI in mobile security systems that can monitor the actions users and devices take. IT needs to actively monitor networks, data access, locations associated with users, profiles and permissions. Cloud-based intelligence that aggregates anonymized data across millions of devices and discovers malware and potential breaches will be the normal security capability in the next one to three years, although not all current security vendors will be able to effectively make the transition.

An individual app on each device that compares signatures of known bad actors is no longer valid protection in the age of zero-day infiltrations and sophisticated phishing attacks. With AI-fueled security for mobile, small stubs of code that operate at the OS layer will monitor each transaction on the device and learn over time what actions are safe and which are not. If a user tries to load a new app, the cloud-based security service must approve it to ensure it is not malevolent.

IT needs to actively monitor networks, data access, locations associated with users, profiles and permissions.

Users will also need approval to open certain types of files, because many attachments may include malware. Finally, network-attached devices will have monitors to ensure the network is safe.

The ultimate goal of AI-assisted security is to monitor behaviors instead of code signatures. Now, these capabilities exist in products from vendors such as Zimperium, Lookout and Appthority. AI in mobile security sounds like it will add significant overhead and reduced performance on the device. But, in most cases, the user won't even notice.

This was last published in June 2018

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