In the wake of many ransomware and malware attacks worldwide, Microsoft is rethinking the fight against hackers with artificial intelligence and the cloud.
Microsoft has taken on the challenge of using artificial intelligence to create a new form of antivirus software that can respond within a few hours rather than a few days to cyber attacks launched anywhere in the world. The havoc caused by the recent WannaCry virus and the emerging Petya virus has made it evident that software engineers are struggling to create security updates fast enough to combat the rate at which new threats are unleashed on businesses, government entities, and consumers.
The answer to this increasing threat comes in the form of newer technology based in the cloud from which Microsoft can report, isolate, and patch security threats before they become widespread. The artificial intelligence software will utilize machine learning data collected from over 400 million PCs running Windows 10 to spot peculiar behavior from malicious programs. This new antivirus software will be built from data collected on Azure, Endpoint, and Office applications that are commonly affected by malware and ransomware attacks.
The concept of this artificial intelligence software is that when the first computer running Windows 10 gets attacked by a new threat, the virus will be isolated in a virtual sandbox in the cloud to protect the first victim. Microsoft will be able to fabricate a digital signature for the malicious program and be able to deploy an update to all Windows users to protect them from being attacked. Microsoft engineers feel this automated, dynamic approach to defending against cyber attacks will increase the effectiveness and expediency at which Microsoft will be able to respond to threats in the future.
This new artificial intelligence solution will be part of the Fall Creators Update release from Microsoft as an upgrade to Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection with new features including Application Guard for web browsing, Device Guard for cloud devices, and Exploit Guard for keeping track of gaps in code that hackers can use. Microsoft also plans to release new security features for its browser Microsoft Edge.
Initially, this new security solution will be available to enterprise-level customers first with a consumer version due out shortly after.