As traditional company barriers broke down, and remote working became the norm, the threat landscape rapidly changed, bringing cybersecurity to centre stage for every digital organisation.
To be resilient in this hybrid working paradigm, businesses need to react to this evolved landscape as threats continue to grow both in size and complexity. Threats now exist both from within and externally, from individuals, cybercrime organisations and even nation states. The existing norms of securing organisational IT will not stand to test in this new reality. Enter cybersecurity solutions infused with artificial intelligence, powered by the cloud.
By 2024, the AI market is expected to break the $500 billion mark, according to IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Artificial Intelligence Tracker. Despite significant investments, companies are only just realising the business benefits of AI, which include but are not limited to solving cybersecurity challenges and creating business resilience.
Protecting dispersed workforces
As organisations adopt hybrid working approaches, employees will work in less secure environments, at least part of the time. Security teams have had to remediate immediate operational, process and technology gaps related to the pandemic-induced response and consider how to approach security with this new working pattern.
Human error causes 95 per cent of cybersecurity breaches. With multiple security systems come multiple platforms and interfaces that need to be checked, increasing the risk of human error and notifications being missed. These factors add more challenges to an already complex environment.
A comprehensive architecture which leads to a strong security posture is fundamentally achieved by initially understanding and reasoning over the threat landscape. Technology solutions which reason over identity, security, compliance and device management enable organisations to extend security to all data devices, all identities, all platforms and all clouds.
The vast majority of cybersecurity incidents derive from weak passwords, phishing attacks and password spraying. The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has taken down more scams in the last year than the previous three combined. Every organisation can immediately reduce this vulnerability by enablement multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is not yet in widespread utilisation, to the delight of cybercriminals. For example, only 18 per cent of Microsoft customers who have purchased the right to use MFA have enabled it across their workforce. Act on this today.
The ability for companies to be able to safeguard their people, information, and systems has never been more crucial. In the aftermath of the pandemic, organisations are seizing the opportunity to reimagine processes and redesign architecture. Cybersecurity teams and cybersecurity measures must be re-evaluated and future-proofed to allow businesses to stay ahead of cybercriminals, and benefit from enhanced business resilience.
Last year, in one incident, cybercriminals used AI-generated audio to impersonate a CEO’s voice and trick employees into transferring €220,000 ($243,000). Hi-tech criminal tactics aren’t likely to cease any time soon – companies should leverage advanced security tools to prevent vulnerabilities before they happen.
To mitigate cybersecurity attacks across the thread landscape, it’s critical for organisations to implement a zero-trust policy. A zero-trust policy initially assumes that every action is a malicious action. Whilst this stance would have historically impacted the productivity of an organisation, today’s cloud-based AI powered solutions have addressed that risk and empowered organisations to increase security whilst protecting the productivity of the organisation.
AI in cybersecurity – taking the offensive route
AI machine learning enabled security cloud platforms are tasked with continuously evolving to better protect organisations today. Microsoft security platforms process eight trillion security signals daily, continuously evolving its AI to mitigate threats in real time. This platform learning puts bad actors on the back foot as the AI takes learnings from a global footprint to protect each individual organisation.
Azure Sentinel, for example, Microsoft’s cloud-native security information and event management service, is also a security orchestration automated response solution all in one. It brings together the latest in security innovation and advanced AI to provide near real-time intelligent security analytics for a comprehensive overview of an enterprise’s entire IT estate.
By adopting AI-powered cybersecurity solutions now, businesses can move to a more resilient future.
Mick McNeil is vice president of business development, Leading Microsoft Business Unit at Logicalis
For more information on Logicalis and its AI-machine learning-enabled security cloud platform LogiGuard, visit Microsoft Marketplace or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was originally published in the Summer 2021 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.
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