Combining expertise in AI and social sciences, CYR3CON is building stronger defenses against the dark web.

In 2013 Arizona State University researchers Paulo and Jana Shakarian collaborated on a book that explored cyberwarfare from “a human-centric viewpoint,” as Paulo Shakarian described it.

“We noticed that everyone who was working on cybersecurity was focused on the technical aspects of it. Things like building firewalls and doing virus scanning,” he said. “But no one was taking a deep look at the people who are doing the bad stuff, the cyber attackers.”

The theme of the book became the genesis of the research they’ve done to understand the “hacker ecosystem” and devise ways to not merely respond to cyberattacks but to predict and thwart them in advance.

That research has given birth to CYR3CON, which the Shakarians define as “a next-generation cyber threat intelligence company” that employs machine learning, data mining and artificial intelligence technology — along with knowledge of the workings of the dark web — to identify emerging threats.

More than that, CYR3CON’s system guides users in making informed decisions about what cyber defense actions should be launched to most effectively neutralize specific kinds of hacking attempts.

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