Japanese firms NTT Communications and SoftBank are working to develop new artificial intelligence (AI) platforms, offering cyber-attack protection services to their customers.

The companies both highlight Big Data and analytics as holding great potential in the future of malware detection and preventing its distribution. However, current systems, which scan for illegal activity and shut down communication on detection, usually take between 8-15 minutes to identify new attacks due to the manual component.

The new NTT service, which launches globally next spring, can automatically recognise patterns in a virus and the methods used by previous malicious campaigns. It can also identify by analogy through the analysis of Big Data.

Even if cyber criminals amend a URL attached to the attack, the system is still able to detect it immediately. The company claims the solution will be able to detect 99% of unauthorised access.

Up until recently, AI-based security systems were only used for certain scenarios in online fraud detection for example. The new NTT offering will be the first commercially-available platform of its type for use in a wide range of applications. It will go on sale at 100,000 yen (approx. £542) per month.

SoftBank has also invested heavily in AI anti-virus software developer Cybereason. The Boston-based company has received between five and six billion yen in funding from the Japanese telco, which hopes to launch its own monitoring service next year.

The solution is expected to be able to pick out unknown viruses by skimming information stored and collected by experimental learning, helping companies reduce the risk of information leaks. Costs for the service are yet to be confirmed.

According to the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Japan’s leading tech research and development agency, the number of cyberattacks targeting government bodies and private firms in the country rose by 100% between 2013 and 2014 – reaching 25.6 billion.