IBM’s AI assisted SSD gives the middle finger to ransomware attackers

IBM has developed an AI assisted storage security technology that can intercept and disable ransomware. It’s been integrated into IBM’s enterprise tier FlashCore modules. The simple explanation is that it is able to scan all I/O data in real time, and halt unauthorized encryption operations before they have a chance to do damage.

IBM detailed the technology in a blog post (H/T Tom’s Hardware). The blog begins by talking about the concern companies have regarding ransomware, referencing a report that says 89% of organizations place ransomware in the top five threats to their viability. As in, not something for the IT department guys to fix over coffee and a chat.

IBM explains the technology best, saying: “IBM Storage Defender includes AI-powered sensors developed by IBM Research that are engineered to rapidly detect ransomware and other advanced threats with high accuracy. Defender raises high fidelity alerts to security tools to reduce the security breach blast radius and help enterprises recover from attacks.”

Using AI to detect ransomware attacks is a fantastic idea. Malicious code execution is difficult to intercept, but in the case of ransomware, it takes time to encrypt data. It can range from minutes to hours, giving a window of opportunity to intercept an attack before it becomes critical. 

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IBM’s solution is aimed at deep pocketed and very security conscious enterprise customers. It’ll be some time before we see consumer level products with this kind of functionality, but with current and next generation CPUs shipping with dedicated AI hardware, this could be something that comes in one form or another to consumer PCs in the years ahead.

The thought of AI SSD’s initially made me roll my eyes, but this is one I can get behind. Being cynical of AI hype is one thing, but outright hatred of dodgy ransomware attackers and scammers is quite something else.

Ransomware is a global threat. Even in our little gaming corner of the world, major companies like Bandai Namco, Sony and Capcom have all been affected. Even the king of AI, Nvidia, is not immune. Anything that stops ransomware in its tracks is worthy of celebration.

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