Amazon's cloud business, AWS, quietly purchased cyber security company harvest.ai for around $19 million, according to TechCrunch.
While Amazon hasn't yet confirmed the acquisition, cybersecurity is an increasing concern for businesses, particularly as more of the global workforce turns mobile.
Around $655 billion will be spent on cybersecurity initiatives globally between 2015 and 2020, BI Intelligence estimates.
Harvest.ai uses a combination of AI and machine learning — a sub-segment of AI — to search for, find, and analyze changes in user behavior, key business systems, and applications to stop targeted attacks before customer data can be stolen.
There are three ways in which Amazon could use harvest.ai's technology:
- To ramp up AWS security. Cloud implementation is one of the more complex emerging technologies that enterprises have to consider. The high pressure that IT security professionals face to implement cloud solutions is compounded by the perceived high security risk to business data, according to the 2016 Security Pressures Report from Trustwave. Providing better security could help dissuade these fears, and drive even greater adoption and use of Amazon's public cloud segment, AWS, by businesses.
- To serve as a fourth prong to Amazon's growing list of AI offerings. In December 2016, Amazon opened up its machine-learning capabilities to enterprises as a service. These services included image recognition, text-to-speech, and conversational apps. Amazon could fold harvest.ai's security tech into these services, opening it up to companies looking for AI-infused security for their own products.
- To make Amazon's team of AI engineers more robust. As AI tech advances, so do nefarious processes aimed at weakening and breaking into the vast troves of data these services maintain. Moreover, Amazon is working hard to get Alexa, its virtual assistant, into as many homes and in front of as many consumers as possible. The acquisition could be a way for Amazon to stay ahead of malicious attacks and security risks.
BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on cybersecurity that details the current landscape for companies in critical infrastructure sectors, as well as how companies can protect their control systems from hackers.
Here are some of the key points from the report:
- Companies that operate critical infrastructure sites reported 295 cyber incidents in 2015, up from 245 in 2014.
- Hackers are targeting the industrial control systems that operate critical infrastructure because of the enormous damage they can cause by crippling such infrastructure.
- Industrial control systems typically weren’t designed to be connected to the internet, so they weren’t built with cybersecurity capabilities to ward off hackers.
- The hack that caused a blackout in the Ukraine could serve as a blueprint for other hackers that want to target critical infrastructure, helping them succeed in future attackers.
- The Ukraine hack highlighted the importance of training employees about cybersecurity and placing additional access controls on industrial control systems beyond firewalls.
In full, the report:
- Explains the challenges that companies face in securing industrial control systems that they are connecting to the internet.
- Breaks down what made the hack against the Ukraine’s power grid so successful.
- Highlights how this attack will impact other companies operating critical infrastructure.
- Details the best methods for securing industrial control systems against hackers.
Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:
- Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
- Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT
The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of cybersecurity.
More From Business Insider