Choosing how to invest your cybersecurity budget can be daunting. Too often, vendors seem to obfuscate how their platforms work, making vague claims about expected outcomes and being less than upfront about the all-in costs to actually operate their products in the real world.

One common vendor claim relates to artificial intelligence. Cybersecurity vendors understand that the market is driven by artificial intelligence (AI)-enhanced solutions. In fact, nearly every network security solution is marketed around a message touting powerful AI benefits.

It’s clear that organizations in need of robust network security are paying attention.  AI as part of the cybersecurity market will be worth more than $46 billion by 2027, according to research firm Meticulous Research.

It’s a significant problem, then, that “AI” has devolved into little more than a buzzword for far too many vendors. The concept itself can mean something unique to every vendor, leading to an aggravating, expensive, and ultimately inadequate product selection.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Vendors market network security products as AI-rich solutions because AI, in the right hands, can be incredibly effective when it comes to safeguarding complex networks.

Unfortunately, the majority of cybersecurity solutions available today rely on outdated applications for AI. So-called first- and second-wave AI solutions don’t cut it, but few vendors have the technical capabilities and know-how to apply cutting edge, third-wave AI to their platforms.

Beware of Cybersecurity Vendors that Overpromise and Underdeliver

In a market where every vendor claims to have the “best” AI solution, SOC teams face a significant challenge in trying to sort fact from fiction.

Terms like “data normalization” and “machine learning AI” may sound like typical parts of the process, and they are, if you’re dealing with outdated technology. Platforms like Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) run on a multistep process of data logging and labeling and require an ever-growing data lake in order to operate. Worse, these systems are only as up-to-date as the last normalization process performed by human analysts.

Third-wave AI is context-aware. Data doesn’t need to be normalized because third-wave platforms like MixMode rely on an evolving baseline of network behavior that adjusts in real-time. These platforms evaluate traffic in context, quickly changing to meet the “new normal” as real world conditions dictate. 

When Vendor Claims Fall Short

AI platforms that exclusively depend on human operators to deploy, run, tune, and maintain them are not the handsfree solutions cybersecurity vendors promise.

Often, vendors will gloss over how their products work by framing their systems as “too complex” to explain to less technical audiences. “You’ll just have to trust us,” they seem to imply. The reality is that these vendors have a hard time explaining how their platforms work because these systems often require a complex setup involving add-ons and redundancies in order to achieve some level of network security.

Somewhere inside this labyrinth of overlapping systems and data-hogging resources lies a simple truth: the “AI” powering these platforms is actually human powered, relying on human intelligence and human experience.

MixMode Stands Apart

 In comparison, third-wave AI platforms like MixMode are surprisingly easy to explain. There’s no need to wade through marketing jargon to get at the heart of how these platforms work. At a high level, MixMode’s AI engine does exactly what the company promises: becoming a part of the network at a granular level so that anomalies can be detected in real-time.

We encourage you to set up a demo so you can see the difference for yourself. What you won’t see is obfuscation. Unlike other vendors, we won’t steer you away from hard questions or hide details. Our clients need and appreciate an unobstructed view into how our platform works, why it’s better than the second-wave solutions on the market today, and how it prepares them for the normal and abnormal fluctuations their networks will experience over time.

Learn more about MixMode and how our third-wave AI approach sets us apart.