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                Protecting Your Information Assets in a Data-Driven Economy

                How the quality and efficacy of algorithms have become fundamental to making better business decisions, more efficiently.

                Every company today is now a data company.

                Organizations are assigning capital value to data assets and in a climate where data breaches are commonplace, cybersecurity is not only an IT function – it drives the bottom line.

                With businesses becoming increasingly reliant on technology, SecureWorks CTO, Jon R. Ramsey, explains how the quality and efficacy of algorithms have become fundamental to making better business decisions, more efficiently.

                Transcript

                Meg Modic – Host

                Jon Ramsey – SecureWorks Chief Technology Officer

                Meg:

                Hey guys, I’m Meg Modic, and I’m coming at you live here at the Nasdaq market site in Times Square New York. Today we’re talking cybersecurity. Something that is top of mind for both business leaders and individuals alike. Here to talk about cybersecurity is John Ramsey, chief technology officer at SecureWorks. Ticker: SCWX. SecureWorks is a leading global cybersecurity company that combines artificial intelligence and human intelligence to predict threats, assess behavior, and keep organizations safe in a digitally connected world. And I encourage our viewers to comment on, like”, and share this important information, and to let us know what kinds of questions you have about cybersecurity. John, we’re delighted to have you here today to talk to our viewers about cybersecurity, thank you.

                Jon:

                Thank you.

                Meg:

                No problem. Now let’s get down to it.

                Jon:

                Sure.

                Meg:

                The value of data is increasing. What does that mean for businesses in the age of digital transformation?

                Jon:

                Yeah, so let’s talk about what digital transformation is. It’s about bringing digital technology to all aspects of human society. And this digital technology is driving better insights, better actions, more value, better decisions across the board. And what that means for businesses is, using this digital technology, they can be more competitive and more profitable because they’re making better decisions based on what they know.

                Meg:

                So that’s a no-brainer for the business?

                Jon:

                That’s absolutely a no-brainer, and to be competitive, you’re going to need it. And so, if you look at the aspect of digital technology that really speaks to insights and decision making, that falls in the category of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Artificial intelligence is effectively a program or an algorithm that can do something that used to take human intelligence. So speech recognition, visual recognition, language translation are examples. Machine language, a subcategory of artificial intelligence, is about programs, when exposed to a new piece of data, they change the result or they change their behavior because they’ve effectively learned something.

                Meg:

                I’ve been reading a lot of stories about that.

                Jon:

                AI is everywhere and it’s changing a lot of things and it’s fascinating, it’s driving one of the key characteristics of digital transformation. So, as a business, Accenture did this study and in the report they said by 2035, many different segments of the market will have on average, 38% increase in profits if they’re using artificial intelligence. So it’s absolutely gonna change, change the way… and the key to artificial intelligence is data. The richer the data, the better the decisions, the better the actions that you can take. And that’s why data is becoming so paramount and important to businesses today.

                Meg:

                Sure. Sure. Now people talk all the time also about ALGO trading and how that impacts the market. How is the algorithm-based economy redefining the future of business?

                Jon:

                Yeah, so let’s step back a little bit. Businesses used to be created with information technology. The business was already created and IT was brought in to support the business. But what’s happening now is brand new businesses are being created based on things that information technology itself can do. So if you step back, maybe a framework will help how to think about artificial intelligence and machine learning. Specifically, machine learning, so they’re sensing, which sensing is going out and it’s generating all this data. It’s not really telling you anything, it’s just measuring and monitoring environments, for example. What you need is to make sense of that data so then you can take a decision, make a decision and take an action. That’s where machine learning comes in. So what machine learning does is it looks at a historical examples like, take cancer for example. Thousands or hundreds of thousands of images that have been classified by an oncologist to say this one’s benign or this one’s malignant. That’s considered the training set. That goes to an ALGO, or an algorithm, that, in this case, then generates a representation of understanding. We call that a model. And then it takes that model and when a new image comes in and it applies that model and an inference algorithm to decide or suggest whether or not that particular image represents cancer. And so we have is a strong combination of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and human intelligence being brought to bear. And interesting, there’s a great Ted talk on this. Interestingly enough, in the diagnosis of cancer, the combination of artificial intelligence and human intelligence outperformed artificial intelligence alone and human intelligence alone.

                Meg:

                Interesting! That kinda sounds like the combination that makes SecureWorks possible.

                Jon:

                That’s absolutely the combination. We apply that. Because what we’re trying to do is look for something that’s abnormal or malicious in the environment. Same thing with cancer diagnosis. We’ll talk more about that. These new businesses are being created by selling services around these models that are created, these algorithms, and the sample data.

                Meg:

                Right. Right. Now, technological advances, right, such as computing and the internet of things have really streamlined activity for business. But, you know, what kind of exposure comes from that? Like, you know, how do these technologies impact the security space?

                Jon:

                Yeah, great question, and two very, very big topics. So, let me take each of them independent and relate it back to the framework sense/sense making/decision making. So, IOT for businesses and consumers alike is very much about sensing. So for example, the average modern-day car has 500 sensors in it, 600 sensors in the modern home, 6,000 sensors in a modern airplane. And today I probably have somewhere in between two and three dozen sensors between the devices that are on me. And all those things are generating information. The cloud computing allows you to bring that data and compute together to be able to do analytics to be able to make sense of what’s going on. And then IOT, then again, allows you to react in the environment and take an action, or suggest an action, like if we sit too long, my watch is going to say you need to get up and move and I’ll be able to tell. Because businesses are fundamentally improving their profitability based on this process, the risk associated with that becomes, becomes higher because their performance is dependent upon that. And that’s why cybersecurity is so important as a business strategy today, not just an IT strategy.

                Meg:

                Gotcha, gotcha… and so the cloud computing and internet of things, it’s streamlined the practices but is there any exposure that comes along with that, SecureWorks is honed in on?

                Jon:

                Yes, yes. So with smart anything, because you can generally control it from the virtual world, you can control the physical world. And you make decisions from things that are coming from the physical world. We want to validate and make sure that the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the data in the systems is intact from a cybersecurity perspective. Because if a threat actor gets in there and changes any of that or doesn’t make it available, it could cause harm in the physical world or they could lead you down a path to make decisions that aren’t beneficial for your customers or your shareholders.

                Meg:

                That is so mind blowing; that is crazy. Now, so what roles does machine learning and AI play in securing valuable data?

                Jon:

                So, the purpose of cybersecurity itself is to reduce the risks from cyber threats with the greatest amount of risk reduction per dollar spent on cybersecurity. And the cybersecurity space, AI, and machine learning can have just a phenomenal impact on solving a lot of use cases. So, for example, SecureWorks is in the business of monitoring our clients networks, so we’re doing sensing in all of these environments and we’re receiving hundreds of billions of events a day. And so we have an algorithm that mines that, that builds these models of understanding. And that algorithm runs every four hours and it generates a brand new understanding based on what it’s learning. We have security experts that are monitoring the results of that algorithm, and then whenever a new event comes in, we’re able to take that event and assess it using the model in the algorithms to determine what we need to do or what our clients need to do to be able to secure themselves. And it’s fundamentally changed the nature of the way we respond to things.

                Meg:

                Very cool. Now, what are the privacy and security risks of this data being such a huge part of, you know, the economy and how businesses are making decisions?

                Jon:

                Yeah, privacy is a paramount concern around this data, especially to a consumer or person because it’s a lot of information about things like do you exercise, where you are, do you go to risky places, those kinds of things. So what we need to do as an industry is make sure that we anonymize the data, or de-associate it with the person. Because we need training data, we can’t delete the data, but we don’t want to associate a particular person with that data. And then of course the security aspect of this is really, really important because we don’t want people to be able to steal that data to figure things out about people. So, again, confidentiality, integrity, and availability of that data is important.

                Meg:

                That is a huge responsibility and it just grows each and every day. Like you said, I think about right now all the sensors I’m exposed to throughout the day. Oh wow, you know, it’s very, very real, and I wouldn’t want that information to be in the wrong hands.

                Jon:

                That’s right.

                Meg:

                Well, thank you so much, Jon, for giving this insight into where SecureWorks is a leader in the industry.

                Jon:

                Great.

                Meg:

                It’s such a pleasure to have you here. And to our viewers, if you found today’s topic helpful, please feel free to share your thoughts on this video. That’s all for now Facebook. Thanks for tuning in and be on the lookout for more coming to you from Nasdaq throughout the day.

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