The role of Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity

Uniti insights - artificial intelligence AI in cybersecurity

Written by unitiweb

February 9, 2022

The influx of emerging technologies – especially those that can be infiltrated by hackers – put cybersecurity measures at risk. And though every IT professional, entity, and department works tirelessly to adopt and even get a step ahead of the latest tech, new advancements in defensive strategies of security professionals have the potential to fail or fall short at some point. It’s something that we, nor any IT entity, can deny.

Still, to combat growing threats, the IT industry has been combining the strength of cybersecurity with artificial intelligence (AI). By doing so, security professionals like the ones at Uniti Fiber, have equipped themselves with strong, additional resources to defend vulnerable networks and data from cyber attackers. Let’s take a closer look at what we mean.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be defined as synthetic, computer-generated decision making that is equivalent to that of human capability, based on certain unique algorithms and related mathematical calculations. For added context, cybersecurity is the security measures to be taken to get rid of any form of cyberattack threatening the digital world.

On one hand, AI improves how IT experts analyze, study, and understand the various and always-evolving mechanisms of cybercrime. It enhances the cybersecurity technologies that Uniti Fiber and other credible companies use to combat cybercriminals (and our many tech solutions) and help keep organizations and customers safe.

On the other hand, artificial intelligence can be very intensive, meaning that it might not be practical in all applications or for all organizations. More importantly, it’s also important to note that it also can serve as a new weapon in the arsenal of cybercriminals who use the technology to hone and improve their tactics.

Regardless, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of AI in cybersecurity and what it could mean for your business or institution.

AI can Prevent Cyber Attacks

Put simply, the awareness or identification of a potential security threat is simply not enough to help a company rid themselves of cyber attackers. However, when that awareness is doubled with the implementation of preventative AI technology, efforts can be used to block cyberattacks in a multitude of ways. For example, AI technology can be used to “think how a hacker thinks” and carry out actions that will either break or prevent the breach of a security code, before the hacker is able to carry those subsequent actions out themselves.

AI Limits Human Liability

Typically, cybersecurity personnel, or even those within the company who are not essentially designated for such, are tasked with keeping a keen eye on the security of sensitive digital information. It goes without saying that it’s extremely challenging for in-house cybersecurity experts (or otherwise) to focus on such a feat without distraction or interruption, potentially allowing a threat slip through the cracks.

Human interaction in critical cybersecurity efforts also means manual, potentially delayed control over cybersecurity efforts. Not by fault, but by default, due to the natural processing time of the human brain, among other limits. Within this scenario, AI can deal with similar situations more easily simple because AI doesn’t require any “break” or vacation. The programming is designed to automatically deal with high-risk tasks at a moment’s notice without any concern.

AI Stops Attacks Before They Begin

We all know that hackers are constantly working on new techniques and methods to gain entry to the target website or sensitive, digital information they are attempting to infiltrate. What we might not know are the methods or means they are beginning to master.

The first step in getting ahead of the cyber attacker is to keep an eye on the target “hackable” point and to identify where a breach might be made. When that information is not obvious to the human eye, AI can come in handy. AI technology can help to identify weaker points that are not necessarily obvious based on an abundance of data and can easily solutions that will better combat efforts against hackers.

Large-Scale AI Security Measures

Picture a company with a low-traffic digital presence possessing few interconnected systems. Then imagine another institution, say a college university or hospital, with high traffic, interconnected systems, a centralized server, and high popularity. If the authorities governing that organization’s digital assets provide less importance to the security of those entities with a large amount of traffic or with highly secret and most valuable information, the digital assets are automatically placed at high risk of cyber-attack.

Within this scenario, AI can easily deal with the security of high-profile outlets because it will be difficult for traditional cybersecurity methods to identify whether a visitor is a normal visitor or a hacker.

Protecting Your Company With AI

In this day and age, artificial intelligence is at the forefront of IT and at top-of-mind of every industry across the board. Luckily, Uniti Fiber implements the latest AI and security technology into all of its tech and security solutions. Reach out to us today to learn how we could help your company or institution take its security measures to the next level.

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Kenny Gunderman
President—Chief Executive Officer
Kenny Gunderman

Kenny Gunderman is president and chief executive officer of Uniti Group Inc. He has 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and is focused on growing Uniti’s real estate portfolio of mission critical communications infrastructure. He has prior experience at Stephens, Lehman Brothers and KPMG. He currently serves on the board of the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation, the Hendrix College Board of Trustees, and the NAREIT Board of Governors. Gunderman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hendrix College and an MBA from Yale.

Paul Bullington
Treasurer—Chief Financial Officer
Paul Bullington

Paul Bullington is the chief financial officer and treasurer of Uniti Group Inc., previously serving as senior vice president of Strategic Operations for Uniti Fiber. Until its acquisition by Uniti in 2017, he served as the CFO of Southern Light, a position he held since the company began operating in 2001. During his time as CFO, the company was named one of the “5,000 Fastest Growing Companies in America” by Inc. Magazine for nine consecutive years.

Bullington also has prior experience at Accenture and Royal Cup Coffee. He currently serves on the board of Eastern Shore Repertory Theatre and is a former director of First Community Bank in Alabama. Bullington holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Birmingham-Southern College and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Daniel Heard
EVP, General Counsel and Secretary
Daniel Heard

Daniel Heard is an executive vice president, general counsel and secretary for Uniti. Heard is responsible for the company’s legal affairs and corporate governance.

Heard previously was a partner in the law offices of Kutak Rock LLP in Little Rock, Arkansas.

At Kutak Rock, Heard represented public companies in corporate, securities and merger and acquisition transactions. His clients comprised a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, information technology and food processing. He has extensive experience in negotiating, structuring and consummating mergers and acquisitions, public offerings of debt and equity securities and other corporate finance transactions.

Heard graduated from the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Central Arkansas.

Michael Friloux
EVP—Chief Technology Officer
Michael Friloux

Michael Friloux is an executive vice president and the chief technology officer of Uniti. He has over 30 years of telecommunications and information systems technology experience and is focused on future proofing Uniti’s information technology systems.

Friloux previously was chief executive officer and president of PEG Bandwidth where he led the wireless backhaul provider through a time of rapid expansion serving 2,400 cell towers over a 15,000 route mile network through 16 states.

Prior to joining PEG Bandwidth, Friloux served as president and chief operations officer for Citynet Fiber Networks where he developed the company into a leading regional wholesale carrier network spanning 13 states and 8,000 route miles.

Friloux started his career as a software engineer for Sabre Computer Services (American Airlines.)

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Oklahoma State University.

Jennifer Ragsdale
SVP—Chief Administrative Officer
Jennifer Ragsdale

Jennifer Ragsdale is senior vice president and chief administrative officer at Uniti, a Certified Great Places to Work company. Ragsdale oversees Uniti’s customer experience management, human resource efforts, diversity and inclusion programs, and leads execution strategy to create a culture of high performance.

Prior to joining Uniti, Ragsdale spent more than a decade in the human resources field, building and executing programs to drive operation strategies and organizational transformation.

Ragsdale is a certified professional in Human Resources (PHR), a SHRM certified Human Resources Professional (SHRM-CP) and is certified in Diversity and Inclusion in HR Management. Ragsdale previously served as the president of the Central Arkansas Human Resources Association. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Central Arkansas.

Ric Chura
SVP—Chief Information Officer
Ric Chura

Ric Chura is the senior vice president and chief information officer for Uniti. He previously served as Vice President of Information Technology at PEG Bandwidth, which was acquired by Uniti in 2016. He is responsible for setting Uniti’s cybersecurity strategy, technology governance and compliance and has led the integration of the multitude of companies acquired by Uniti.

Chura has over 20 years of experience in telecommunications industry working at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Predictive Systems, Callisma and FiberTower, a startup telecommunications backhaul provider. He has completed the Program on Negotiation from Harvard University and holds a Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering degree from Iowa State University.

Ronald J. Mudry
SVP—Chief Revenue Officer
Ronald J. Mudry

Ron Mudry is chief revenue officer of Uniti Group Inc. In this role, Mudry is responsible for Uniti’s holistic growth opportunities across its fiber and wireless infrastructure segments from edge to enterprise.

Mudry previously served as President of Sales and Business Development at Uniti Fiber. Mudry has over 30 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and was the founder of two start-up fiber operating companies that grew to become leaders in their industry segment. He leads Uniti’s sales and business development initiatives which include providing fiber based services to wireless carriers, wireline carriers, content companies, cable MSOs and other wholesale customers. He joined Uniti in 2016 following the acquisition of Tower Cloud, a company he founded in 2006, that was a leader in fiber, small cell and cell site backhaul services in the Southeast, U.S. Earlier in his career, he founded Progress Telecom (formed in 1998) and before that spent 15 years with GTE Corporation (now Verizon) where he held key management positions in finance, sales and marketing, international operations, treasury, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions.

Mudry serves on the Board of Directors of INCOMPAS, a telecommunications industry association, and was previously chairman of the CEO Council of COMPTEL.

Mudry holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in finance from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Tampa.

Travis Black
VP - Chief Accounting Officer
Travis Black

Travis Black is the chief accounting officer of Uniti Group Inc. In his current role, Travis leads a team of over 40 employees and is responsible for the company’s financial accounting, external reporting and financial compliance activities. Additionally, Travis oversees the company’s technical accounting matters, including merger and acquisition transactions and critical accounting estimates.

Travis has been with Uniti Group since 2015, and previously served as the Director of Financial Reporting. He began his career at FedEx, and he has over 18 years of experience in financial accounting and reporting for public companies. Travis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from the University of Memphis. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Andy Newton
President—Uniti Fiber
Andy Newton

Andy Newton is president of Uniti Fiber where he stewards Uniti’s efforts to design, build and operate its fiber network infrastructure.

Newton was the co-founder of Southern Light, and for the previous 19 years served as its president and chief executive officer where he led the overall operations, strategic guidance and culture of the company. Under his direction, Southern Light grew to become one of the top 10 largest pure fiber optic providers in the country.

Newton received an Economics degree from Birmingham Southern College and enjoys providing leadership to non-profits that focus on education and community planning and development.

Bill DiTullio
Vice President - Investor Relations
Bill DiTullio

Bill DiTullio has over 10 years of investor relations experience, joining Uniti’s investor relations team in 2017. Bill was promoted to Vice President of Investor Relations and Finance in August of 2019. Bill originally joined Uniti through the acquisition of PEG Bandwidth in 2016, and has held several various finance roles within the organization. Prior to joining the Company, Bill served as Sr. Investor Relations Analyst at Comcast Corporation. Before that, Bill worked as an associate equity analyst at Boenning & Scattergood. Bill began his early career working for Prudential Financial in several accounting and finance roles.

Bill holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Temple University and a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and accounting from Villanova University.