Email Security

    Why AI Is Crucial to Cybersecurity (and How It Fits Into Your Organization)

    Security professionals must sort through the hype to find the solutions they need

    by Giulian Garruba

    Wichtige Punkte

    • The cybersecurity landscape moves at an alarming pace and security professionals can struggle to keep up with emerging threats.
    • AI tools are being used by cybercriminals to boost the success of their campaigns, so naturally security teams will need to turn to AI tools in order to keep up.
    • While AI is living up to expectations, a lot of hype remains, which can make it difficult for security professionals to separate truth from noise.

    The current cyber threat landscape consists of threat actors that are dynamic and can move quickly to stay ahead of physical, human-based, and even AI-based security measures. Unbound by laws and compliance regulations, they can frequently move faster than the security teams that are working to stop them.

    And now, generative AI has exploded onto the scene, providing access to an incredibly powerful technology whose potential is being taken advantage of by everyone from non-technical employees to the most sophisticated threat actors. Communications channels also continue to expand, and even though email remains the primary channel, collaboration applications like Microsoft Teams and Slack have become an indispensable part of employees’ daily routines. Tools like SharePoint and OneDrive are also deeply embedded in everyday work. This has resulted is an expanded attack surface that’s more targeted than ever.

    Compounding that risk is hundreds of millions of users around the world all using the same popular tools. The potential payoff for threat actors from accessing the mass volumes of data these tools store has made providers like Microsoft and Google irresistible targets, and the impact on victims should not be underestimated.

    With bad actors producing thousands of new threats every single day, IT teams are turning to AI-based solutions to close the gap by automatically detecting things like malware and malicious links to quarantine suspicious emails, files, and even instant messages.

    The Cybersecurity Landscape and AI

    In order to keep up with these threats, the cybersecurity landscape will need to evolve even more rapidly to harness the benefits and mitigate the risks presented by AI. This includes preparing systems and people to be resilient against AI’s advanced capabilities.

    But given all the talk about AI, when it comes time for security professionals to prepare for the future by implementing AI-based solutions, they can be met with a frustrating amount of hype. Unfortunately, many security providers that depend primarily on AI capabilities often pitch their solutions as the only solution needed, despite the many obstacles and challenges that remain on the path to achieving the high expectations that have been set for this technology.

    That said, it would be wrong for cybersecurity professionals to disregard the potential of AI-based security solutions. With the modern threat landscape becoming more complex daily and the application of AI growing more advanced, AI and its associated disciplines have become essential cybersecurity tools.

    And given the fact that the need for AI in cybersecurity — or more particularly in the near term, machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) — will only rise from here, it’s crucial for organizations to combine AI with more traditional cybersecurity approaches to keep risk from cyber threats as low as possible.

    This all leads to a real challenge for cybersecurity professionals, though: how to tell reality from hype to make the sound choices needed to protect their organizations’ communications, people, and data? One way to sort through this hype is to have a solid understanding of the benefits and dangers of AI as it pertains to cybersecurity so that security teams can ensure the solutions they choose dispel the dangers and come with the benefits their organization needs.

    The Bottom Line

    As AI continues to increase in practical and effective use in cybersecurity tools, the hype surrounding it will also increase. Security professionals need to learn the best ways to drown out the noise and find the real solutions that work best for their organization. Mimecast can help: learn more about The Promise and Truth of the AI Security Revolution.

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