How Cyber Intelligence Works When All Else Fails

November 16, 2017

Author: Nithen Naidoo, Founder and CEO


At Snode, we like to see things differently and naturally gravitate towards alternative analysis. We are often asked why we use the phrase “Cyber Intelligence” as opposed to “Cybersecurity” to describe our real-time analytics platform.

Our view is a paradigm shift (by design) and therefore not strictly aligned to standard definition. That said, it’s an excellent way to describe Snode’s unique value proposition.

We see Cybersecurity as a technology layer, consisting of automated, signature based systems (e.g. Intrusion Prevention Systems); searching for known, commonly indiscriminate and unsophisticated attacks. We believe these traditional security controls are essential to a good security posture and complement the Snode Cyber Intelligence solution.

Cyber Intelligence, in a Snode (design) context, is viewed as an autonomous layer that lies above the traditional cybersecurity stack; assessing network behaviours, threat intelligence and leveraging machine assisted analytics. Such technologies are designed to protect against more sophisticated and targeted attacks that have never been seen before and therefore circumvent signature based controls.

As an example, consider the following: an authenticated, authorised finance staff member accesses a financial system database. Such activity would not be considered malicious by a signature based control and generally goes unnoticed as this is role-based acceptable behaviour. However, a Cyber Intelligence platform may report this behaviour as anomalous since it deviates from the user’s normal pattern of behaviour. Therefore, such activity may be indicative of, and reported as, a potential disclosure of sensitive data.

This scenario was an actual finding at a Snode mining client. A subsequent investigation found that the employee was colluding with an organised labour (union) member to supply sensitive financial information ahead of an upcoming wage negotiation. Hence, we describe Cyber Intelligence as the technology layer that goes to work; when all else fails.


#SS17HACK extends to Northern Cape

July 12, 2017

Source: ITWeb   The hackathon to be held at ITWeb Security Summit 2017 is extending to the Northern Cape. Spearheaded by Geekulcha, and run in conjunction with ITWeb Events and Snode, it is the first hackathon to take place at ITWeb Security Summit, and is aimed at stimulating and growing skills capacity in information security. Various organisations are collaborating on the hackathon, where participants will interact and get a chance to be guided by over 500 cyber security minds at the summit. As a first edition, the hackathon will only accommodate 30 people at Vodacom World in Midrand. The Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism has commissioned a parallel Security Hackathon in Kimberley, on 16 and 17 May, in collaboration with Sol Plaatje University, Geekulcha Student Society (GKSS). The Kimberley edition of the hackathon will be managed by the GKSS and local entrepreneurs from the Diamond Creative Vision Hub. A team of 11 people from the department and GKSS attended the training Ideathon in Pretoria, to get a sense of how to run things. A team from Snode will help the Kimberley edition of the hackathon by providing mentorship to ensure the participants build the most secure solutions possible. #SS17Hack Midrand and Kimberley will be broadcast live to each other, giving a sense of concurrency, although each hackathon will have its own judging process.


Why a well-designed HCI is critical to your AI driven cybersecurity solution

November 24, 2017

Author: Nithen Naidoo, Founder and CEO   Most readers of this post will know Deep Blue, the computer that beat chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1996. Since then, and more so recently, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been an industry buzzword and “the Tao” of the future. I love everything about AI, but I believe in Intelligence Amplification (IA). IA is the synergy of human and machine (as opposed to the substitution), augmenting our capabilities (not replacing them). So, why do I think IA is better? Let’s begin with a lesser known story, about a lesser known chess competition. Eight years after Deep Blue, Kasparov competed in another chess competition which allowed humans to pair up with computers. Naturally, you would expect the best human-computer duo to dominate. Actually, amateur chess players with suboptimal computing platforms won. The upset was credited to a well-designed interface between a well-trained human and a data-rich computing platform. So, having a data-rich platform with effective AI capability is important – but meaningless, if you (the analyst) can’t rapidly navigate, correlate, contextualise and gain insight from your data. Hence, we developed Snode’s cybersecurity solution with - data fusion at scale and machine-assisted analytics. However, more importantly, we designed a frictionless Human-Computer-Interface (HCI) - prioritising, maximising and galvanising the synergy between human and machine.