Technology Record - Issue 33: Summer 2024

92 on-premises and cloud servers, including the AWS ones, from one location,” says Chandra Kala Macha, an information officer at World Bank. “With Azure Arc, we can manage everything at the operating level and on the SQL Server side as well – all from a single pane of glass. It’s made a huge difference in our efficiency.” Fighting fire with fire Being compliant with cybersecurity regulations isn’t necessarily enough, though. “Financial services regulations such as DORA seem to focus on cyber efforts around incident reporting and threat-led penetration testing, which is a variation of more traditional penetration tests where an extra process step is introduced to identify real-life threat scenarios making these tests ultimately more effective,” says Deprins. “This all helps to become genuinely secure, but the reality is that attacks are becoming increasingly more sophisticated by using the latest available technologies like generative AI. To combat this, financial services organisations must step up their defences, which requires innovation and very strong, integrated architecture for threat monitoring across the entire environment and even across entire ecosystems.” The Voice of Secops 2023 report by Microsoft partner Deep Instinct found that 85 per cent of security professionals attribute the rise in security attacks to bad actors using generative AI. But cloud-based solutions play a key role in identifying threat actors, according to Deprins. “Microsoft is in a unique position managing millions of mailboxes and one of the largest infrastructure clouds allowing us to identify threat actors very early on by intelligently analysing trillions of signals on our cloud or suspicious events,” he says. “At the scale we operate, we have no choice other than to rely heavily upon AI capabilities to do this.” It does this by leveraging its partnership with OpenAI, bringing to life an AI assistant that used generative AI to help identify new threat actors early on and making attackers and their techniques known to the world so they can be stopped everywhere. Global insurance firm WTW is already using Microsoft Purview, Defender for Endpoint and for Cloud to protect its 55,000 workstations and more than 300 subscriptions across its workforce, having worked with Microsoft Intelligent Security Association member BlueVoyant. But it plans to use AI tools in Microsoft Copilot for Security across the whole organisation to increase security productivity. “The threat hunting capabilities in Security Copilot will greatly accelerate the way that our internal threat hunting team develops and understands incidents as they unfold,” says Paul Haywood, group chief information security officer at WTW. Over half (57 per cent) of financial services organisations rely on multiple cloud service providers, according to the Cloud Security Alliance, and this extends over to security vendors. “With multiple vendors, it is harder for a firm to get an integrated view on its threat landscape or to identify and correlate different signals associated with an ongoing attack,” says Deprins. “Azure Sentinel, Defender for Cloud and Security Copilot are just a few of the products in our security stack that can offer best-in-class security for financial firms across their entire environment. Microsoft XDR for instance is a service that complements these by stopping FEATURE The World Bank is using Microsoft Azure Arc to centralise its systems across more than 170 countries “ Attacks are becoming increasingly more sophisticated by using the latest available technologies like generative AI”