press release
Published: 07 June 2023

Expert comment - Response to MOVEit cyber gang ultimatum

Professor Ferrante Neri, who specialises in machine learning and artificial intelligence, University of Surrey commented on the recent news of large corporations being given an ultimatum by Russian cyber gang Clop and their recent MOVEit hack.

He said:

“We may not be able to control skilled cybercriminals, and for this reason, action is needed on how data is structured and stored to mitigate the risks of these types of cyberattacks.

“Part of the issue here is the centralisation of business data. Keeping data all in one place provides a vulnerability as the data provides a complete picture to those who access it, whether legally or illegally.

“Data decentralisation needs to be a key part of Web 3.0 and be a partial solution as cybercriminals would need to access multiple sources to combine the data as if it were a jigsaw puzzle. This would require extra hacking skills, more effort, and take more time, thus affecting the hacker’s operations scale.

“Perhaps, a more radical solution businesses could take to mitigate data theft is storing data which is to be processed by an AI tool carrying out simple, non-related tasks, such as market predictions. This approach includes federated learning using decentralised data, and only the trained machine learning model would be stored online, not the data it is fed from. This way, it would be impossible for cyber criminals to backtrack user data and connect anything accessed to its true purpose.”



Professor Ferrante Neri is available for interview upon request

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