May 19, 2020

Bridging the gaps: joining human and artificial intelligence

Technology
AI
Artificial Intelligence
Kevin Waterhouse, MD, VCA Tech...
3 min
Bridging the gaps: joining human and artificial intelligence

Technology is evolving at a rapid pace, transforming every business sector. 

The security industry is no different, as emerging technologies are leveraged to enhance operations. 

Much has been made of artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential, with companies of all kinds scrambling to implement it. Whilst the hype may presently outweigh the current benefits, AI in the security sector can be truly beneficial. 

The buzz surrounding facial recognition, in particular, has dominated the public perception of AI in the security space. However, there are many applications of this tool which are already delivering benefits to businesses. Deep Learning (DL) is a subcategory of AI, which can empower surveillance technology to achieve unparalleled levels of accuracy. This, in turn, can make security professionals’ lives easier as they can focus on more pressing tasks, with full reassurance that DL is working in the background, improving protection and efficiency. 

Deep Learning precision

In the past, surveillance applications that used video analytics to generate alerts often struggled to differentiate between a human intruder and other objects or wildlife, creating time-consuming false alarms. 

However, DL can help overcome this hurdle by enabling users to pre-calibrate the system to detect real threats and ignore false ones. In the context of video analytics, the ‘learning’ aspect of DL refers to the way that a developer can train an algorithm to only pick up on specific objects and features, much in the same way that a human would visually disseminate a scene and distinguish between objects.

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In a security application, the algorithm can be trained to recognise a person or a vehicle that could pose a threat. This level of sophistication in security tools means that the issue of false alerts is mitigated, and monitoring staff can focus their efforts on less tedious tasks, increasing their productivity and attention span, improving overall performance. 

Ultimately, improved alert accuracy leads to a more secure perimeter. By detecting suspicious events in real-time, the technology enables staff to address incidents as they occur, reducing the need to analyse video footage in the wake of a security breach, when very little can be done. 

Combining human and artificial intelligence

It’s true that AI and automation stand to revolutionise every sector. However, this is not to say that they are always a viable replacement for human intelligence. 

AI and DL really excel in the automation of manual tasks and making improvements to operations, but the value of human input cannot be underestimated.

The DL component of security analytics is invaluable for overworked and understaffed monitoring teams – it can filter through hundreds of potential alerts and block those that aren’t useful. Staff are then left with only a handful of unusual situations to evaluate, which they are responsible for resolving. This is where human intelligence is still light years ahead of AI. The most successful businesses across the board are the ones who are able to combine the latest technologies with human intuition. 

By Kevin Waterhouse, Managing Director at VCA Technology

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Jun 17, 2021

Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT

HOOPP
Checkpoint
3 min
Erez Yarkoni, Global VP, explains how a three-way partnership between Check Point, HOOPP, and Microsoft is yielding optimum cloud security

Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.

“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.

Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:

  • Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
  • CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
  • Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data

 

However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”

In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies. 

The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help. 

“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”

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