How Machine Learning Engines Can Protect Online Businesses

Published on : 12 Oct 2021

How machine learning engines can protect online businesses

Online security has become a necessity over the recent years. While 20 years ago people were aware that there were dangers on the internet, cyber threats were not so common. They were more like vague ideas that happen to big companies and that we hear about on the news than something that happens to ordinary people. But the reality has changed. The internet has become a part of our daily lives and we are spending more and more of our time in the digital world. 

As our online presence has increased, so has the level of cyber threats. Now, not only do we hear about cyber-attacks daily, but most of us have experienced some type of cyber threat in our life. Who hasn’t received a spam email asking you to click on the link or to send them your confidential data? It is up to everyone personally to be more mindful about the threats they are facing online and to learn how to protect themselves.


machine learning and online business

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This is especially true for online businesses because they have a responsibility not only to keep their business safe but also all of the customers that have put their trust in them. For them, cyber-attacks will have devastating financial and reputational consequences which is why they need to be proactive and actively defend their business. One of the best methods for safekeeping an eCommerce site is the use of machine learning engines as it can stop the cyber-attack before it even happens.

What is machine learning?

Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that can learn using historical data and algorithms and with that, it can identify patterns and predict outcomes with minimal human intervention. It might seem complicated, but we are already using machine learning in our everyday life. Are you using Netflix, YouTube, or some other streaming service? If your answer is yes, then you are already using machine learning as it is used to create recommendations for you. If you are using Siri, Alexa or Cortana, you are also using machine learning. Machine learning can be used to make every aspect of eCommerce easier, but it can bring the biggest advantage in the area of cyber security.

How to use machine learning to protect the online business?

A lot of companies like Google are already using machine learning engines in their cyber security protocol. Did you know that 50-70 percent of messages that Gmail receives are spam but because of their use of machine learning they can keep your inbox free from spam and phishing email with over 99.9 percent accuracy? By introducing machine learning into your own cyber security protocol, you can also stop fraud before it even happens.

According to Statista, by January 2021 there were 4.66 billion active internet users around the world, which comes to almost 60 percent of the global population and they generate tremendous amounts of data daily. If used correctly that data can help you protect your online business. If you are to analyze all the data that comes through your business, you would be able to create a clearer picture about who your customers are, what they want, and recognize when there are some discrepancies in patterns indicating suspicious actions. But, can you imagine how many people you would have to employ to do that analysis and how long would it take before they even start to notice some patterns? 

By using machine learning, you can analyze hundreds of different data points to recognize patterns and connections between fraudulent cases and create a set of rules based on that information that will help you stop cyber-attacks as soon as possible. For example, by analyzing the data machine learning engines might have come to the conclusion that fraud is more common when payment is coming from an unusual location or if the user is using an unverified device and following up on that you can implement the rules that will block that kind of user actions. Or it can be used to stop fraudulent transactions by identifying standard transactions and implementing the rule that will flag the ones that diverge from the norm as potentially fraudulent. You can either decide to block the users that are flagged or implement additional verification methods that will confirm they are legitimate users. 

The best thing about machine learning is that it is a proactive cyber security tool that is constantly learning and evolving which means it can keep up with cybercriminals and the new types of fraud attempts.

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Narendra Sahoo
Narendra Sahoo

Narendra Sahoo (PCI QPA, PCI QSA, PCI SSF ASSESSOR, CISSP, CISA, CRISC, 27001 LA) is the Founder and Director of VISTA InfoSec, a global Information Security Consulting firm, based in the US, Singapore & India. Mr. Sahoo holds more than 25 years of experience in the IT Industry, with expertise in Information Risk Consulting, Assessment, & Compliance services. VISTA InfoSec specializes in Information Security audit, consulting and certification services which include GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, NESA, MAS-TRM, PCI DSS Compliance & Audit, PCI PIN, SOC2 Compliance & Audit, PDPA, PDPB to name a few. The company has for years (since 2004) worked with organizations across the globe to address the Regulatory and Information Security challenges in their industry. VISTA InfoSec has been instrumental in helping top multinational companies achieve compliance and secure their IT infrastructure.