The Role of AI in Detecting Ransomware Attacks

AI has existed since 1950, when the term was coined to describe the imitation game, a machine intelligence test. Since then, AI has evolved significantly, especially in the past year. Recently, cybercriminals have used AI to deploy ransomware attacks more easily. Thankfully, we can always remain one step ahead and use AI to prevent ransomware. A crucial AI application for ransomware defense is machine learning, which uses mathematical models to help computers learn and improve independently. Machine learning can detect ransomware using tools such as continuous learning, heuristic analysis, pattern recognition, ensemble models, and anomaly detection.

  1. Continuous Learning allows AI models to adapt to constantly evolving ransomware threats by training with new data.
  2. Heuristic analysis trains AI models on common ransomware characteristics.
  3. Pattern Recognition is how AI models can learn algorithms to detect ransomware based on previous data.
  4. Ensemble Models helps AI models improve accuracy regarding ransomware detection.
  5. Anomaly Detection helps AI models learn a system’s expected behavior to detect abnormalities more easily.

Machine Learning is the most common AI model, but there’s another model called deep learning. Deep learning can detect ransomware with high efficiency and low false positive rates. It can even detect threats without knowing the attack’s code, making it a valuable tool for preventing ransomware attacks within seconds. Machine learning and deep learning are powerful models for using AI to protect from ransomware, but there are other ways we can use AI to protect businesses.

Other ways AI can help protect from ransomware include scanning emails for suspicious activity or patterns to prevent employees from receiving contaminated emails. There are also AI security solutions like XDR. XDR stands for extended detection and response and provides threat detection and response across multiple domains. Finally, there’s an AI tool that can help with employee training and identify the most at-risk employees. AI can add that extra layer of protection your business may need.

Protection from ransomware is so important, whether you’re using AI or choose not to. Fortunately, Vertek offers a comprehensive ransomware solution called ransomMDR. ransomMDR may be the solution you’ve been looking for in your businesses. ransomMDR focuses on four stages: pre-execution, exploitation, behavioral, and recovery + resilience.

Pre-execution: Using a capsule network approach to AI models, the Halcyon cloud and agent have accelerated learning abilities compared to previous generations of ML-based tools. With a “suspiciousness score” that follows parent/child processes, even if an initially benign application commits a malicious action later, Halcyon’s agent will retroactively convict all associated processes along the entire event chain.

Exploitation: It is crucial to exploit the tactics, techniques, and procedures that attackers deploy during ransomware campaigns. By tricking a ransomware actor’s tools into thinking a system is a high-value or invalid target, we can expose additional indicators of maliciousness and prevent execution even if the first layer of protection did not initially block the process.

Behavioral: The Halcyon agent examines millions of dimensions of a program, including provenance, behavior, and communication paths throughout the process lifecycle, to determine its true nature and prevent harmful processes from executing.

Recovery + Resilience: The platform is designed with the understanding that security controls will fail, and it has been built accordingly. If all prevention layers are unsuccessful, our resiliency layer allows for near-instant recovery via key material capture or keyless recovery.

If you’re interested in our ransomMDR solution, please contact Vertek today!