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Cloudflare launches Defensive AI for threat protection
Thu, 14th Mar 2024

Cloudflare, the notable connectivity cloud company, has introduced Defensive AI, an adaptive and personalised strategy for safeguarding organisations against threats posed by burgeoning technologies. Emerging technologies come with a new tide of risks as threat actors are starting to wield AI to conduct refined phishing pathways, assist in generating harmful code, and enhance attacks on crucial business operations. Defensive AI aims to analyse distinct customer traffic trends, provisioning entities with a custom-made defence strategy, that is exclusive to their operational environment.

Every organisation has its unique blend of invaluable assets and confidential business strategies, requiring adaptive security mechanisms for their protection. Although AI is a promising tool for organisational growth, it also equips hackers with the capacity to significantly amplify their attack potency, rendering generic security solutions ineffective. However, by implementing a personalised approach to security, which encompasses an organisation’s own traffic patterns, a balance is reestablished in favour of cybersecurity defence mechanisms.

Matthew Prince, CEO and co-founder at Cloudflare, believes that leveraging AI to combat AI is now indispensable. He highlighted the significance of a personalised protective approach towards data and defending against intricate threats, specific to the attack landscape of an organisation. Prince emphasised, "By understanding 'normal baselines' in a customer's environment and mitigating the threats that will move the needle towards increased resilience, Defensive AI is the crucial edge defenders need to stay ahead of today’s adversaries."

Defensive AI enables Cloudflare’s AI models to focus on a specific customer traffic patterns, thereby equipping the organisations with a distinctive defense strategy suited to their environment, with benefits such as:

Protection of the Modern Web: API forms approximately 57% of all dynamic web traffic and supports most apps and services for businesses. Cloudflare is in the process of developing API Anomaly Detection, aiming to thwart attacks that intend to harm applications, seize accounts or pilfer data. This feature is designed to understand the behaviour of an application and construct a model of what the sequence of good requests over time resembles, acting as a guardrail to deter potentially harmful activities.

The Regulation of the Primary Threat Vector – Email: As nine in every ten cyber attacks typically originate from a phishing scam, limiting the inherent risk of emails becomes essential to uphold cyber resilience. Cloudflare’s Cloud Email Security solution anticipates threat actors by training AI models to distinguish different parts of a message and spot dubious content. Despite the evolution of trends like Generative AI, Cloudflare’s models analyse all components of a phishing attack, most of which are difficult to counterfeit.

Mitigating Threats from Employees: Close to half of the insider threat incidents involve an employee with privileged access to company assets, thereby highlighting the importance of a Zero Trust approach. Cloudflare Gateway enables customers to form a baseline of their organisation's user behaviour and resources that are accessed, in order to identify and filter risky or unauthorised activities.

Cloudflare aims to reimagine security by employing AI to counter AI threats. As emerging technology progresses and new tools are devised, Cloudflare is well-placed to allow organisations to integrate these productivity enhancements without exposing themselves to malicious use cases.