Oliver Tavakoli

Abstract: Using ML and AI for defense and anticipating its use on offense

As the latest generation of threat detection and mitigation technologies embrace machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), it is critical for cyber security professionals to have working knowledge of the techniques being employed and the goals they are seeking to achieve. Rest assured that attackers are both studying the weaknesses of AI-enabled defenses and are themselves figuring out how to make best use of ML (mostly) and AI (sometimes) to further their offensive capabilities. Come to this session for a primer on the applications of ML and AI to a variety of defensive techniques and some examples of how attackers may use these same tools to bolster their arsenals.


Oliver Tavakoli is chief technology officer at Vectra. Oliver is a technologist who has alternated between working for large and small companies throughout his 25-year career – he is clearly doing the latter right now. Prior to joining Vectra, Oliver spent more than seven years at Juniper as chief technical officer for the security business. Oliver joined Juniper as a result of its acquisition of Funk Software, where he was CTO and better known as developer #1 for Steel-Belted Radius – you can ask him what product name came in second in the naming contest. Prior to joining Funk Software, Oliver co-founded Trilogy Inc. and prior to that, he did stints at Novell, Fluent Machines and IBM. Throughout his career, Oliver has annoyed colleagues by his insistence that words be spelled correctly.