NATO tests AI’s ability to protect critical infrastructure against cyberattacks

Autonomous intelligence, artificial intelligence (AI) that can act without human intervention, can help identify critical infrastructure cyberattack patterns and network activity, and detect malware to enable enhanced decision-making about defensive responses. That’s according to the preliminary findings of an international experiment of AI’s ability to secure and defend systems, power grids and other critical assets by cyber experts at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Cyber Coalition 2022 event late last year.

The simulated experiment saw six teams of cyber defenders from NATO allies tasked with setting up computer-based systems and power grids at an imaginary military base and keeping them running during a cyberattack. If hackers interfered with system operations or the power went down for more than 10 minutes, critical systems could go offline. The differentiator was that three of the teams had access to a novel Autonomous Intelligence Cyberdefense Agent (AICA) prototype developed by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, while the other three teams did not.

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