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Cognitive Security: Disinformation Becomes the Newest Cyberthreat

By Dick Weisinger

Cognitive security is the application of AI to identify hacking and to protect computer systems. Cognitive security uses AI to continually mine network activity data to identify anomalies, anticipate threats and be proactive in protecting against cyberattacks.

But beyond hacking and data breeches, a newer type of threat has emerged that cognitive security techniques are being applied to: ‘disinformation campaigns’.

Disinformation is the purposeful spreading of misleading information with the intent of deception. It’s a kind of mental manipulation of an audience. It’s easier for tricksters to engage in and more difficult to track down or prevent — there’s no need to break into protected computer systems.

Marc Rogers, vice president at Okta, told the Wall Street Journal that “in the last 10 years, the information age has really matured. Now for just a few thousand dollars you can invest in some infrastructure and you can launch a disinformation campaign that will bring a country the size of America to its knees.”

David Perlman, former data scientist at Twitter, said that “if there are no police, and you are living in the Wild West, then you have to arm yourself.”

The question really is ‘how?’. AI may help you to identify misinformation, but often only after it already may have made an impact on its audience.

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