AI Technology for Data Classification, Not Magic

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(Updated on 7/15/2022)

In his famous third law, the sci-fi writer and futurist Arthur C. Clarke asserted: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Looking at the current state of artificial intelligence, you could be forgiven for thinking that Clarke was absolutely right. Most machine-learning tools evolve independently as they're trained, and frequently the result is an AI algorithm that operates within a "black box," spitting out results based on a process that nobody — not the designer and certainly not the end-user — really understands. The algorithm works as if by magic. 

Proofpoint believes that's not good enough. When it comes to cybersecurity, a black-box solution is the equivalent of simply saying, "Hey, trust me!" As any security expert or data-privacy officer will tell you, blind trust has no place in a rigorous security system.

We're big fans of AI and machine learning, and we're using those technologies to develop new ways to help companies identify, analyze, and protect private information. According to Gartner: "Security and risk management leaders need to include artificial intelligence applications for rapid, inclusive and consistent support for compliance insight, vast and continuous data discovery, subject's rights management, etc."

But we also firmly believe that any security system you don't understand completely is a potential vulnerability. In creating the AI tools that underpin Proofpoint Intelligent Classification and Protection, we've developed tools that work incredibly well, delivering fast, cost-effective, and data-driven insights that allow companies to protect private information more effectively. But we've done so while simultaneously ensuring that all our AI solutions are both explainable and deterministic

"Explainability" does just what it says on the tin: it means that all the results our platform delivers spring from methods and processes that can be clearly articulated. We can tell our customers exactly how any given result was generated, and we can help them understand exactly what data was used, and what calculations were performed to generate any given output.

Our solutions are also "deterministic," which means they are based on clear logical rules and relationships between facts. There are no heuristics or stochastic elements introducing uncertainty or randomness into our algorithms: run the same process a second, third, or fiftieth time, and you'll get the same result every time.

Proofpoint's AI-powered data classification is comprehensible by design. When you're using our platform, you'll never feel like you're watching a magic trick unfold before your eyes — you'll simply know you're using a reliable, well-designed tool that automates and makes your data-security processes exponentially easier to manage.  

Learn more 

Find out how Proofpoint can classify and protect your data by downloading the Proofpoint Intelligent Classification data sheet