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4 Reasons Why AI Is Essential to Your 2021 Cybersecurity Program

Stephan Jou, CTO of Interset, a Micro Focus company, shares four reasons why the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology is vital to a security programs success in 2021.

As we move into the new year, business leaders must acknowledge the current challenges security teams face when trying to prepare for, respond to, and recover from critical security threats. Cybersecurity leaders must adapt to the everchanging, hybrid and complex IT environment by integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) into their programs to better adapt to crises and reduce the risk of attack in 2021.

Security teams need AI technology that analyzes data at-scale and in real-time, and uses machine learning to spot any anomalies that could signal a breach.

Integrating AI security tools throughout the enterprise life cycle allows for the rapid detection of evolving threats that often go unseen using traditional technologies and rules-based products.

Here are four reasons why AI and machine learning are essential to your 2021 cyber security program:

  • Allow the workforce to focus on what matters

On average, the delay in breach detection and containment is 280 days. During this time, hackers can already have access to private data and the ability to damage IT systems themselves without anyone knowing. Integrating AI and ML means that SOCs don’t have to look at every alert and can focus on preventing and detecting riskier concerns. By streamlining and automating cumbersome tasks such as security data collection, correlation, and analysis, you allow your team to prioritize activities that require human skills in order to detect and prevent attacks. AI and ML technology frees teams from time-consuming, arduous manual work, so they can focus on higher-level and more valuable tasks that help better protect IT environments.

Working smarter and not harder increases employee satisfaction and increases business efficiency, both of which are essential components of a successful business in 2021. 

  • Reduce unnecessary budget spend

Security programs have often struggled with finding qualified employees to protect their data. In fact, recent research found over 90% of businesses were suffering from security shortages in 2020. Similarly, in 2021 this trend is expected to continue, and businesses must adopt AI and ML in order to offset this challenge. Embracing AI and ML in your security program reduces the need for additional staff, as more tasks become automated. AI technology becomes a workforce multiplier by not only taking over tasks, but also performing them more quickly and with more accuracy and precision.

Additionally, the integration of AI and ML technology allows cybersecurity teams to retire legacy tools that no longer assist in achieving the goals of the security program. The reductions in costs frees up the cybersecurity budget for another needs like staff training and modern products that can better improve the program in 2021 and beyond.

  • Access full visibility into your threat posture

Due to the everchanging nature of the cyber environment, the scales remain tipped in favor of hackers. Successful organizations will be able to anticipate attacks through threat modeling using AI and work to defend them even before a vulnerability is detected. Cyber resilient teams must prevent and detect every attack, or they lose, whilst threats have unlimited attempts at accessing company data.

By integrating AI into your program, you have continuous 24/7 insight into the IT environment where cyberthreats loom. With artificial intelligence and machine learning, your cybersecurity team has more thorough data to make more educated decisions and respond effectively to attacks.

  • Proactively protect your environment

More often than not, cyber criminals are using technology more efficiently than defenders. Therefore, security teams must embrace advances in technology at a more rapid pace to stay ahead of new cyberattack tactics.

When developing your 2021 cybersecurity plan, integrating AI and machine learning is a no-brainer that provides a boost to your cyber resiliency with immediate results.
Security teams that integrate these tools are better able to flag the latest attack vectors early, even new ones that are unfamiliar and can only be detected through the pattern- and anomaly-detection capabilities of AI and ML. Not only will these technologies assist in elevating your defenses, but they will make your program more proactive in nipping threats in the bud, before they progress to full-blown breaches.

In order to succeed, business leaders must adapt to the ever-evolving cyber environment. With the mountains of data generated by security solutions, the use of new technologies like AI and ML that analyze behaviors and risk and automate response, can significantly increase an organization’s ability to intelligently adapt to vulnerabilities and attacks. It’s vital as we move into 2021 that business leaders prioritize embracing these new technologies to better develop a cyber resilient security program.

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