A View from Erica Naone

A Computer's Immune System

The future of computer security may look like a human immune system.

  • September 27, 2007

The future of security may involve making computer systems behave more like biological systems, according to Guido Jouret, CTO of the emerging markets technology group at Cisco Systems. In an appearance at the Emerging Technologies Conference yesterday, Jouret said that Cisco has invested heavily in self-defending security systems. As threats grow increasingly automated, he said, defenses must do the same. He offered the human autoimmune system as an example of an automated system flexible enough to deal with a wide variety of threats.

Cisco is working on technology that can block zero-day viruses–viruses that haven’t yet been identified and loaded into antivirus programs–based on what they do, and which parts of a system they attack. “It’s a better approach than this infernal race of trying to get patterns that match new viruses,” Jouret said.

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From the latest smartphones to advances in quantum computing, the hardware behind today's digital age is rapidly changing.

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