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How AI can close gaps in cybersecurity tech stacks



How AI can close gaps in cybersecurity tech stacks

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Gaps in cybersecurity tech stacks, especially in endpoint security and patch management, are increasingly leaving enterprises vulnerable to attacks. CISOs are focusing on how to drive new digital revenue strategies while reducing risk and protecting virtual workforces amidst the various threats. 

From cybercriminal gangs trying to recruit AI engineers, to state-funded Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) networks capable of simultaneously launching attacks across multiple attack vectors, cybercriminals are getting smarter all the time. Studies of job ads on the dark web show that those who know how to breach web services, have AI-based hacking skills and can capture privileged access credentials are the most in-demand. 

Keeping the balance of power in check with AI 

Machine endpoints are proliferating at twice the pace of human ones and new digital revenue strategies enterprises have are expected to deliver double-digit growth in 18 months. Virtual workforces to support new digital revenue growth need new security tools that are intuitive and easy to use. CISOs are balancing these demands with the need for real-time risk management insights and improving user experiences on their applications. Solving these challenges and maintaining a balance of power against threats and risks requires data-driven AI and machine learning technologies that deliver at scale.  

AI and machine learning effectively automate tasks IT and cybersecurity departments don’t have time to get to. A few are automated endpoint security, patch management and improving supply chain security, visibility and control with the industrial internet of things (IIoT). Enterprises proactively employ and prioritize zero-trust security, starting with identity access management (IAM), privileged access management (PAM), microsegmentation and endpoint security, then struggle to keep up with endpoints and patch management. 

Using AI and machine learning brings greater intelligence to endpoint and patch management and improves risk-based vulnerability assessments. Cybersecurity providers’ sales partners are also helping to close gaps in tech stacks by providing their expertise and insights.  

Closing tech stack gaps

There are five strategies cybersecurity vendors should rely on to help their enterprise customers close widening gaps in their security tech stacks. Based on conversations with endpoint security, IAM, PAM, patch management and remote browser isolation (RBI) providers and their partners, these strategies are beginning to emerge in a dominate way among the cybersecurity landscape.  

Fast-tracking endpoint, ransomware and risk management roadmaps

Cybersecurity vendors are accelerating their launch plans in three core areas today. Endpoint security is still one of the most elusive problems for a security team to fix and it’s typical for organizations not to know where up to 40% of their endpoints are. Broadcom, CrowdStrike, McAfee and Microsoft lead the endpoint security market and each has implied in earnings and briefings that they are accelerating their roadmaps. 

An analysis of Ivanti’s roadmap reflects how vendors are moving applications up and creating larger releases faster. Ivanti released five modules on its Neurons platform, a significant accomplishment for its DevOps, engineering and product management teams. Ivanti told VentureBeat that  Ivanti Neurons Patch for MEM (Microsoft Endpoint Manager) is highly demanded by enterprises who want to automate patch management and extend Intune implementations to include third-party application update capabilities. 

Cybersecurity vendors are fast-tracking their roadmaps to improve endpoint management including IIoT sensors, Risk-Based Vulnerability Management (RBVM) and customer experiences to help enterprises close the growing gaps in their tech stacks today

Land & expand selling of zero trust with partners is a high priority. 

Cybersecurity vendors tell VentureBeat that one of the primary factors accelerating their roadmaps is reseller and partners’ demand for new cloud services to support high margin sales. On the last earnings call, George Kurtz, president, CEO and cofounder of CrowdStrike said that channel sales are core to the company.  

Further validating its high priority to rely on partners to land, expand and provide zero trust solutions through the channel, Ivanti announced Dennis Kozak had joined them today as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Dennis will oversee Ivanti marketing, global sales, customer experience and operations as COO. Mr. Kozak is a long-time channel veteran, having spent 23 years with CA Technologies, where he led organizations such as global sales, global channel sales and strategy, sales operations and global transformation to deliver a next-generation portfolio strategy. He was most recently head of global channels at Avaya, which drove approximately 70% of their total revenue.  

Mr. Kozak told VentureBeat during an interview that his goals include turning channel sales into a force multiplier of growth for Ivanti by capitalizing on the five acquisitions made over the past 16 months. Additionally, Mr. Kozak explained in an interview with VentureBeat that bringing together all acquisitions into a unified go-to-market and channel strategy is the goal. 

Quantifying risk is table stakes

Enterprises need better tools to assess risks and vulnerabilities to identify and close gaps in tech stacks. As a result, there’s a growing interest in using Risk-Based Vulnerability Management (RBVM) that can scale across cloud, mobile IoT and IIoT devices today. Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) vendors are moving into RBVM with vulnerability assessment tools. Leading vendors include CODA Footprint, CyCognito, Recorded Future, Qualys and others. Ivanti’s acquisition of RiskSense delivered its first product this month, Ivanti Neurons for Risk-Based Vulnerability Management (RBVM). What’s noteworthy about Ivanti’s release is that it is the first RBVM system that relies on a state engine to measure, prioritize and control cybersecurity risks to protect enterprises against ransomware and advanced cyber threats. Ivanti also developed proprietary Vulnerability Risk Ratings (VRR) that quantify adversarial risk so enterprises can identify and thwart risks before breaches occur.  

Ivanti’s approach to Risk-Based Vulnerability Management combines machine learning models from RiskSense and the Ivanti Neurons platform to create a single, unified view of known vulnerabilities. 

Doubling down on endpoint security as a core product strategy

Fast-tracking endpoint security applications and platforms are also helping to close the gaps in tech stacks today. All leading cybersecurity vendors either have announced or will shortly announce self-healing endpoints. A recent Tanium survey found that only 29% of security teams are confident the patches they’re installing will stop a breach. Absolute’s 2021 Endpoint Risk Report found 12.9 mission-critical applications per enterprise device, 11.7 of which are security controls. Absolute’s report found that the greater the endpoint complexity, the greater the risk of applications conflicting, colliding and canceling, leaving endpoints less secure. 

Ivanti’s recent survey on patch management found that 71% of IT and security professionals found patching to be overly complex and time-consuming and 53% said that organizing and prioritizing critical vulnerabilities takes up most of their time. Ivanti’s launch last week of their Neurons Patch for MEM reflects the future of AI-based patch intelligence for endpoint security by relying on AI-based bots to identify which patches most need updating. Additional vendors providing AI-based endpoint protection include Broadcom, CrowdStrike, SentinelOne, McAfee, Sophos,  Trend Micro, VMWare Carbon Black,  Cybereason, etc. 

Digital experiences need to drive greater productivity

Improving how intuitive any security application is to use increases productivity and reduces risks. Enterprise applications are known for being a challenge to use, however. Apple, known for its intuitive designs, relies on metrics and analytics combined with design principles to streamline each new application and system. No standard comes close to Apple’s success in this area in enterprise software. 

It’s encouraging to see cybersecurity vendors take on the challenge of using AI to improve user experience. Ivanti launched their Digital Experience Score within Ivanti Neurons Workspace last week. CIOs’ most common request from users is to improve application usability to drive greater security productivity and operational agility. Ivanti’s Digital Experience Score provides a 360-degree view and real-time insights into the devices, operating systems, networks and applications employees rely on in their virtual workspace. 

Ivanti claims it gets organizations out of using ticket counts as a proxy for employee experience, as closing tickets alone is not the service-level agreement (SLA) that needs to be measured; rather, organizations need to quantify how effective IT and digital experiences (XLAs) are and seek new ways to improve them. Machine Learning algorithms to produce a combined metric of holistic the users’ digital experience. 

Calculating and using AI to identify ways to improve Digital Experience Scores is the future of enterprise software and cybersecurity applications specifically. 

Quantifying risks 

The severity, speed and sophistication of cyberattacks are increasing quickly. CIOs and CISOs know they need to rely on more advanced technologies, including AI and machine learning, to keep on top of split-second attacks that can take down their networks. With cybercrime gangs recruiting AI engineers out of school and state-sponsored cyberattacks becoming more common, AI and machine learning’s potential to thwart breach attempts and sophisticated attacks is becoming more proven.

Cybersecurity vendors accelerate their product roadmaps with hardened, more data-driven applications, while AI platform players are looking to land and expand in partner strategies. Quantifying risks is now table stakes and every cybersecurity vendor in the endpoint security or adjacent markets is introducing self-healing endpoints. Cybersecurity tech stacks need AI to identify how best to thwart advanced attacks today and in the future.

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AMD CEO says 5-nm Zen 4 processors coming this fall



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Advanced Micro Devices revealed its 5-nanometer Zen 4 processor architecture today at the Computex 2022 event in Taiwan.

The new AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors with Zen 4 cores will be coming this fall, said Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, in a keynote speech.

Su said the new processors with Zen 4 architecture will deliver a significant increase in performance upon their launch in the fall of 2022. Additionally, Su highlighted the strong growth and momentum for AMD in the mobile market as 70 of the more than 200 expected ultrathin, gaming and commercial notebook designs powered by Ryzen 6000 Series processors have been launched or announced to-date.

In addition, other AMD executives announced the newest addition to the Ryzen Mobile lineup, “Mendocino;” the newest AMD smart technology, SmartAccess Storage; and more details of the new AM5 platform, including support from leading motherboard manufacturers.

“At Computex 2022 we highlighted growing adoption of AMD in ultrathin, gaming, and commercial notebooks from the leading PC providers based on the leadership performance and battery life of our Ryzen 6000 series mobile processors,” said Su. “With our upcoming AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors, we will bring even more leadership to the desktop market with our next-generation 5-nm Zen 4 architecture and provide an unparalleled, high-

performance computing experience for gamers and creators.”

AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors

The new Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors will double the amount of L2 cache per core, feature higher clock speeds, and are projected to provide greater than 15% uplift in single-thread performance versus the prior generation, for a better desktop PC experience.

During the keynote, a pre-production Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processor was demonstrated running at 5.5 GHz clock speed throughout AAA game play. The same processor was also demonstrated performing more than 30% faster than an Intel Core i9 12900K in a Blender multi-threaded rendering workload.

In addition to new “Zen 4” compute dies, the Ryzen 7000 series features an all-new 6nm I/O die. The new I/O die includes AMD RDNA 2-based graphics engine, a new low-power architecture adopted from AMD Ryzen mobile processors, support for the latest memory and connectivity technologies like DDR5 and PCI Express 5.0, and support for up to four displays.

AMD Socket AM5 Platform

The new AMD Socket AM5 platform provides advanced connectivity for our most demanding enthusiasts. This new socket features a 1718-pin LGA design with support for up to 170W TDP processors, dual-channel DDR5 memory, and new SVI3 power infrastructure for leading all-core performance with our Ryzen 7000 Series processors. AMD Socket AM5 features the most PCIe 5.0 lanes in the industry with up to 24 lanes, making it our fastest, largest, and most expansive desktop platform with support for the next-generation and beyond class of storage and graphics cards.

And AMD said the “Mendocino” processors will offer great everyday performance and are expected to be priced from $400 to $700.

Featuring “Zen 2” cores and RDNA 2 architecture-based graphics, the processors are designed to deliver the best battery life and performance in the price band so users can get the most out of their laptop at an attractive price.

The first systems featuring the new “Mendocino” processors will be available from computer partners in Q4 2022.

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AMD’s Ryzen 7000 desktop chips are coming this fall with 5nm Zen 4 cores



AMD’s Ryzen 7000 desktop chips are coming this fall with 5nm Zen 4 cores

AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 7000 chips will mark another major milestone for the company: they’ll be the first desktop processors running 5 nanometer cores. During her Computex keynote presentation today, AMD CEO Lisa Su confirmed that Ryzen 7000 chips will launch this fall. Under the hood, they’ll feature dual 5nm Zen 4 cores, as well as a redesigned 6nm I/O core (which includes RDNA2 graphics, DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 controllers and a low-power architecture). Earlier this month, the company teased its plans for high-end “Dragon Range” Ryzen 7000 laptop chips, which are expected to launch in 2023.

Since this is just a Computex glimpse, AMD isn’t giving us many other details about the Ryzen 7000 yet. The company says it will offer a 15 percent performance jump in Cinebench’s single-threaded benchmark compared to the Ryzen 5950X. Still, it’d be more interesting to hear about multi-threaded performance, especially given the progress Intel has made with its 12th-gen CPUs. You can expect 1MB of L2 cache per core, as well as maximum boost speeds beyond 5GHz and better hardware acceleration for AI tasks.

AMD is also debuting Socket AM5 motherboards alongside its new flagship processor. The company is moving towards a 1718-pin LGA socket, but it will still support AM4 coolers. That’s a big deal if you’ve already invested a ton into your cooling setup. The new motherboards will offer up to 24 channels of PCIe 5.0 split across storage and graphics, up to 14 USB SuperSpeed ports running at 20 Gbps, and up to 4 HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2 ports. You’ll find them in three different flavors: B650 for mainstream systems, X650 for enthusiasts who want PCIe 5.0 for storage and graphics and X650 Extreme for the most demanding folks.

Given that Intel still won’t have a 7nm desktop chip until next year (barring any additional delays), AMD seems poised to once again take the performance lead for another generation. But given just how well Intel’s hybrid process for its 12th-gen chips has worked out, it’ll be interesting to see how it plans to respond. If anything, it sure is nice to see genuine competition in the CPU space again.

While Ryzen 7000 will be AMD’s main focus for the rest of the year, the company is also throwing a bone to mainstream laptops in the fourth quarter with its upcoming 6nm “Mendocino” CPUs. They’ll sport four 6nm Zen 2 cores, as well as RDNA 2 graphics, making them ideal for systems priced between $399 and $699. Sure, that’s not much to get excited about, but even basic machines like Lenovo’s Ideapad 1 deserve decent performance. And for many office drones, it could mean having work-issued machines that finally don’t stink.

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Disney’s Disney+ ad pitch reflects how streaming ad prices set to rise in this year’s upfront



Disney’s Disney+ ad pitch reflects how streaming ad prices set to rise in this year’s upfront

With Disney+, Disney is looking to set a new high-water mark for ad prices among the major ad-supported streamers. The pricey pitch is representative of a broader rising tide in streaming ad pricing in this year’s TV advertising upfront market, as Disney-owned Hulu, Amazon and even Fox’s Tubi are looking to press upfront advertisers to pay up.

In its initial pitch to advertisers and their agencies, Disney is seeking CPMs for Disney+ around $50, according to agency executives. That price point applies to broad-based targeting dubbed “P2+,” which refers to an audience of any viewer who is two years old or older (though Disney has told agency executives that programming aimed at viewers seven years old and younger will be excluded from carrying ads). In other words, more narrowly targeted ads are expected to cost more based on the level of targeting. A Disney spokesperson declined to comment.

At a $50 CPM, Disney+ is surpassing the prices that NBCUniversal’s Peacock  and Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max sought in last year’s upfront market and that gave ad buyers sticker shock. The former sought CPMs in the $30 to $40 range, while the latter sought $40+ CPMs. By comparison, other major ad-supported streamers like Hulu, Discovery+ and Paramount+ were charging low-to-mid $20 CPMs that major ad-supported streamers charge. As a result, Peacock’s and HBO Max’s asks ended up being price prohibitive, with some advertisers limiting the amount of money they spent with the streamers because of their higher rates.

Unsurprisingly, agency executives are balking at Disney+’s price point. “They’re citing pricing that no longer exists, meaning Peacock and HBO Max recognized they came out too high and they’re reducing it. Disney+ is using earmuffs to pretend that second part didn’t happen,” said one agency executive.

However, Disney+ isn’t the only streamer seeking to raise the rates that ad buyers are accustomed to paying. Hulu is also seeking to increase its prices in this year’s upfront, with P2+ pricing going from a $20-$25 CPM average to averaging in the $25-$30 CPM range, according to agency executives. And during a call with reporters on May 16, Fox advertising sales president Marianne Gambelli said that the company will seek higher prices for its free, ad-supported streaming TV service Tubi in this year’s upfront market. It’s unclear what Tubi’s current rates are, but FAST services’ CPMS are typically in the low to mid teens, said the agency executives.

“We have to get the value for Tubi. Tubi has grown to a point — it’s doubled, tripled in size over the past couple of years. So we are going to obviously make that a priority and look for not only more volume but price,” Gambelli said.

Meanwhile, in pitching its Thursday Night Football package that will be streamed on Amazon Prime Video and Twitch, Amazon has been pressing for a premium on what Fox charged advertisers last year, according to agency executives. The e-commerce giant will be handling the games’ ad placements like traditional TV, meaning that it will run the same ad in each ad slot for every viewer as opposed to dynamically inserting targeted ads. “It’s streaming broadcast,” said a second agency executive.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on pricing but did provide a general statement. “Thursday Night Football on Prime Video and Twitch is a purely digital broadcast, and we’re excited to bring fans a new viewing experience. There are 80MM active Prime Video households in the U.S. and, in a survey of our 2021 TNF audience, 38% reported they don’t have a pay-TV service – meaning TNF on Prime Video and Twitch enables brands to connect with cord-cutters and cord-nevers. Brands can also reach these viewers beyond TNF. Our first-party insights enable them to reengage TNF audiences across Amazon, such as in Freevee content.”

One of the agency executives that Digiday spoke to said the latest ask is for a plus-10% increase on Fox’s rates, though what Fox’s rates were are unclear and other agency executives said the premium that Amazon is asking for varies. Ad Age reported in February that Amazon was seeking up to 20% higher prices than Fox’s rates. “I don’t know if it is consistently plus-10, but it is definitely more. Which is crazy because Fox couldn’t make money on it, which is why they gave it up for this fall,” said a second agency executive.

“Someone was eating way too many gummies before they put the pricing together,” said a second agency executive of Amazon’s Thursday Night Football pitch.

Ad-supported streaming service owners also see an opportunity to push for higher prices as advertisers to adopt more advanced targeting with their streaming campaigns, such as by using the media companies’ and/or advertisers’ first-party data to aim their ads on the streamers. 

Said one TV network executive, “You’ll see premiums, especially as it relates to advertisers that really want to hook into [their company’s streaming service] and buy those targeted audiences across the platform and either use [the TV network’s] first-party data or bring their own data to the table. That’s the biggest business we’re in, and that’s where we see great growth from a pricing standpoint.”


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