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Cybersecurity Help for Multifamily

I would like to inform multifamily professionals of the current cybersecurity threat-scape and recommend best practices for dealing with these issues.

SkyNet not quite here yet

In the Terminator series of movies, SkyNet is a sentient computer software developed by Cyberdyne Systems for the military. It ultimately becomes self-aware and deems humanity a threat. So, it sends Terminators back in time attempting to preemptively kill its human foes.




I have talked to a number of I.T. folks in the multifamily housing industry that believe that if they purchase an all-in-one tool that supposedly does everything for them -- especially one of the shiny new ones that touts artificial intelligence (A.I.) and "machine learning" features -- that their networks will be secure.


But the reality is that the solution must always be coupled with human interaction to maximize its effectiveness.  We all saw the danger of unfettered A.I. running amok in the  Terminator series.


Let's take a closer look at the real world ...


Cyber Grand Challenge


In 2016, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) created the Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC) to promote the development of autonomous computer systems that can discover, prove, and correct software flaws in real-time. I attended the finals of the CGC competition at the Defcon 24 security conference in Las Vegas which pitted machine versus machine in what was called the “world's first automated network defense tournament.”


Among the lessons learned from the CGC was that machines are, as expected, very good at solving simple, repetitive and computationally intensive problems. However, more complex problems still require human ingenuity to recognize and address.


Both former DARPA Cyber Program Manager Tim Booher and ForAllSecure’s David Brumley (winner of the CGC) agree on this (https://twitter.com/thedavidbrumley/status/826966206041059328)-- that at this time, A.I. is really just a tool and a force multiplier for humans.  Human/machine pairing is still key.


The era of fully autonomous systems is not yet here, and companies should be very cautious about handing over security of their networks to an autonomous A.I. system. What if it misses something? What if it learns bad behavior? There are still a million open issues with this technology.  


Experienced human analysts are absolutely required in the equation.


You can't find enough experts


Our company continuously evaluates leading-edge technologies that incorporate machine learning, but we also recognize that we will always need teams of capable, trained analysts in our Security Operations Centers (SOCs).


The future holds great promise for the effectiveness of A.I. in dealing with cyber issues, but expert teams of cyber analysts will always be needed for dealing with incidents and responding in the most appropriate manner.


According to the Global Information Security Workforce Study (GISWS), there will be a worldwide shortfall of 1.5 million cyber experts by the year 2020. Most companies cannot recruit, train, and retain enough cybersecurity personnel to keep pace.  That’s why engaging with a managed security services provider (MSSP) such as ours is key to succeeding in cyber.




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