Magazine article National Defense

Machine Learning Used to Thwart Terrorists

Magazine article National Defense

Machine Learning Used to Thwart Terrorists

Article excerpt

Terrorists are increasingly using cyber attacks to break into banks and steal money to fund their operations. However, one company said its software can better track and detect these types of intrusions.

"These bad actors are becoming more and more sophisticated and more technologically savvy," said James Heinzman, executive vice president of financial services solutions at ThetaRay. "They really are trying to exploit the weaknesses in our financial systems."

ThetaRay--which was established in 2013 and is based in Hod HaSharon, Israel, with a U.S. headquarters in New York City--has developed a program that uses machine learning to detect when a terrorist or hacker breaks into a bank or financial institution, he said.

Such organizations usually store massive amounts of information about financial transactions and users, which make it difficult to sort through, Heinzman said.

"These data lakes become data sewers, because there's so much data they don't really know how to analyze it, how to bring it together and find meaningful results," he said. "It's like looking for a needle in a needlestack."

Compounding the issue is the fact that traditionally, such organizations use rules-based algorithms to detect when something is amiss, Heinzman noted. …

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