Symantec develops neural network to thwart cyberattack-induced blackouts

The company is rolling out a device that scans for malware on USB devices to block attacks on IoT and operational technology environments.

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This article originally appeared on ZDNet.

Symantec is rolling out a new product that it says will help enterprises protect public infrastructure from cyber attacks and cyberattack-induced blackouts. The Industrial Control System Protection (ICSP) Neural is a device that scans for malware on USB devices to block attacks on IoT and operational technology environments.

The cybersecurity firm said the ICSP station functions as a neural network, using artificial intelligence to detect USB-borne malware and sanitize the devices. According to Symantec, existing ICSP deployments have shown that up to 50 percent of scanned USB devices are infected with malware.

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The company is targeting industries with outdated legacy systems, such as oil and gas, manufacturing, and transportation, which often rely on USB devices to update systems.

"Recent studies have shown that more than half [of industrial control systems] run on outdated Windows systems, leaving them highly-susceptible to risks," the company said in a press release. "For example, the infamous Stuxnet worm used USB-based malware to manipulate centrifuges in Iranian nuclear plants -- ultimately sabotaging a key part of the country's nuclear program."

Symantec has been pouring resources into its endpoint security business, part of its broader Enterprise Security business. Last month the company acquired Appthority and Javelin Networks in an effort to bring key technology integrations to its Integrated Cyber Defense Platform.

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