Impact of Artificial Intelligence on CDN Security, Caching and Protocol Optimization


AI The CDN business is about leveraging the latest innovations, and crafting solutions that correspond to shifting trends in all things content. However, there is a technology so innovative that it has the potential to wreak havoc on the current CDN and Cyber Security business models. The technology is extremely disruptive, and in a few years it will be able to magnify the power of good and bad. The good – it can help CDNs become more efficient. The bad – it can magnify  a security breach a thousand-fold.  The technology is Artificial Intelligence (AI), and DeepMind is the pioneer behind this technology. The DeepMind AI system has a mind of its own, able to learn its surroundings just like a human, and make decisions based on the input it receives. The “Reinforcement Learning Framework” makes it possible, and there is no pre-programming involved, as is done with most of the cyber security products in play today.

DeepMind, the Artificial Intelligence Company acquired by Google has developed this astounding and revolutionary product. Google gobbled up DeepMind for $400M, including its staff of a hundred+ PHD’s. Today, Google uses DeepMind algorithms in image recognition, speech recognition, and search. The results have been dramatic. AI can be broken down into two parts: 1) specific domain AI that focuses on one area or task which is “Narrow AI” and 2) General purpose AI that adapts to many different environments. The general purpose AI is the more powerful of the two. For AI to succeed, it needs a great amount of input data, or raw data fed into it.

In a recent test, DeepMind programmed an AI to interact with the game Space Invaders. In the first game, the AI was absolutely clueless, having zero idea of what to do. The input data was the pixels and frames. In game 500, the AI became the best gamer the world has ever seen. Every game lost was a learning experience that provided the AI System with more data to eventually help it master the next game. The most important observation, the AI System operated completely independent from its makers. Scary. AI will definitely impact the CDN and Security industry in a good and bad way.

Caching, Security, and Protocol Optimization

  • Caching: Engineers well versed in Varnish, Nginx or Apache Traffic Server make big money in improving and optimizing caching platforms
    • Impact: AI systems will replace caching engineers and completely automate this process
  • Security: Bots are both harmless and dangerous, and systems have been developed to counter most threats
    • Impact: Hackers will create “Artificial Intelligent” Bots that dynamically change in real time to counter every security measure in place, eventually finding a vulnerability
  • Protocol Optimizations: TCP/IP and UDP optimizations is a full time job for network engineers, as CDNs constantly engage in developing and implementing the most optimal optimizations
    • Impact: AI Systems will take over and automate the job of IP optimizations
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