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IBM’s new AI-enabled SSDs identify and eradicate ransomware in under a minute

Detect, alert and react in under a minute

 IBM released a blog post detailing its technology for AI-enhanced protection against malware including ransomware on its SSDs, the fourth generation of IBM‘s FlashCore Module (FCM) technology. As detailed by them, the latest revision of FCM (FCM4) now supports artificial intelligence, but applied for the purpose of detecting and responding to cybersecurity threats as they arise.

Previous generations of FCM are already capable of scanning all incoming data without impacting performance, but lack the enhanced features of AI. FCM4 monitors statistics for every single I/O operation, and uses machine learning to detect threats like ransomware in under a minute.

This approach from IBM joins the likes of other self-protecting SSD storage. For example those made by Cigent and Phison and other, more performance-intensive hardware protection methods.

Focusing on IBM’s solutions, though, let’s talk about more than just threat detection. By measuring data parameters like compressibility, randomness and entropy, the IBM Storage Insights software can alert users to an anomaly. The FCM4 technology gathers real-time IO data which machine learning models use to determine a threat.  By integrating FCM with IBM’s Storage Defender Software, IBM can leverage AI detection and data recovery operations on both the software side and the hardware side.

Of course, making the most of these technologies and their assorted backup, restore, and protection features is currently limited to high-end applications. While day-to-day SSDs may one day see protection like this, IBM’s FCM technology and corresponding software is targeted squarely at enterprise and professional users, particularly ones needing to deal with high-sensitivity or confidential information.

By dramatically increasing the speed at which ransomware and other malicious activities can be detected, removed, and repaired from storage, IBM has shown that machine learning AI actually can be the ideal choice for some workloads.

While the ethics and morals of “generative AI” in art, music and literature are quite rightly being debated, the use of AI in this application means better security for enterprise users. Even the most seasoned IT security pros would be hard-pressed to detect and start reversing a ransomware attack within a single minute, but a job like that might actually be perfect for these ever-evolving machine learning models.

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