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Is AI the answer to increased cybercrime? Some companies think so.

Posted by Grace Townsley

August 14, 2023

Artificial Intelligence has dominated headlines for months. From automating repetitive tasks to streamlining complex business operations, it seems every week companies are finding new uses for the technology

Already, HR departments are accelerating hiring and onboarding processes with the help of AI. Accounting teams are developing advanced workflows to streamline bookkeeping and error-free report creation. And data analytics teams are leveraging AI to pull valuable insights from large data sets virtually instantaneously. But there’s one use for AI that’s just beginning to emerge: AI-based cybersecurity measures. 

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As hackers become more sophisticated, cybersecurity is more critical than ever

The more companies rely on digital platforms and technology to operate, the more essential cybersecurity becomes. Companies that leverage cloud technology, for example, may store enormous quantities of customer data in their cloud solution — which exposes them to the risk of a data breach. And companies with remote workers who can access data from their home networks also pose a risk, as these networks are often more vulnerable to attack than office-based networks. 

Plus, advanced hackers now watch for companies to expand their technology use faster than they do their cybersecurity measures. They know a newly-launched platform may be underprotected, and when they locate one, they’ll exploit it quickly. 

According to one financial crime report, nearly 70% of business leaders expect financial crime to increase over the next year — and 67% of these leaders plan to invest in new cybersecurity measures in the coming months.

How is AI bolstering cybersecurity efforts?

AI has the ability to learn, adapt and respond in real time. Unlike traditional cybersecurity measures that rely on predefined rules and programming, AI-based tools can identify threats and alert your team long before these hackers steal your data. Plus, AI-based tools can be easily customized to meet your company’s specific needs, and scale with your growth.

According to a survey of 400 global business leaders, three of the most common AI-integrated cybersecurity tools companies are leveraging this year include fraud monitoring technology (used by 91% of respondents), customer identification and verification databases (87%), and anti-money laundering (AML) transaction monitoring (86%). Tools designed to combat these increasing threats use AI to proactively detect potential scammers, quickly shut down their activities, and alert cybersecurity leaders to the emerging issue.

Another key area where AI is already being leveraged for cybersecurity purposes is in the customer onboarding process. This process, which is often underprotected, presents unique risks which AI can be equipped to handle. As customer data flows in and moves through your cloud-based systems, AI-based cybersecurity measures can watch for anomalies in the process — recognizing and siloing breaches before data is leaked.

Unlike traditional cybersecurity tools, AI has the ability to learn the key indicators of an upcoming cyberattack

Cyberattacks don’t just put your reputation at risk. They can bankrupt your company. In 2021, the average cost of a data breach hit $4.24 million — an all-time high record. Cybercriminals, and their programs, are becoming more sophisticated, more complex and more adaptable than ever before. But AI cybersecurity tools are ready to fight back. 

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Beyond its ability to scale and flex around your company’s needs, another strong benefit to integrating AI into cybersecurity is AI’s ability to use machine learning and natural language processing to study the history of cybercrime and hacking methods. By training cybersecurity AI tools with threat intelligence, security research, news stories and the latest data on hacking, these tools can learn to proactively recognize cyber risks. Even risks posed by other hacker-controlled AI tools. 

An IBM survey of 1,000 executives with an IT or operational technology role revealed that these AI-adopting companies are already using AI for critical capabilities, including: 

  • Triage of basic cyber threats (67%)
  • Detection of zero-day attacks and threats (66%)
  • Prediction of potential upcoming threats (65%)
  • Minimization of false positives and noise (65%)
  • Correlation of user behavior with threat indicators (61%)

Instead of taking a reactive approach to attacks, which focuses on minimizing the impact and retrieving breached data, the AI tools these companies use give their cybersecurity leaders the opportunity to proactively neutralize threats in the earliest stages possible. 

Particularly valuable is AI’s ability to see and stop zero-day attacks, which are attacks that occur the day a weakness or software vulnerability is discovered, before developers have the chance to create a patch or protection solution. These vulnerabilities are a favorite target of hackers, because they represent an “easy” opportunity to exploit a system and gather a large amount of data quickly. 

Key takeaway

Today, cybersecurity tools are critical to your company’s survival. And while there are a variety of cybersecurity tools on the market, AI-based cyber technology may be one of the strongest ways to protect your company’s data and reputation. Because these tools don’t just see emerging attacks — they recognize vulnerabilities in your processes and proactively double down on their protective efforts in those areas. 

Want more? Escalon has helped over 5,000 companies across a range of industries to optimize routine business functions, like taxes, accounting, insurance HR and payroll, and operate more efficiently. Talk to an expert today.

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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. Escalon and its affiliates are not providing tax, legal or accounting advice in this article. If you would like to engage with Escalon, please contact us here.


Grace Townsley
Grace Townsley

As a professional copywriter in the finance and B2B space, Grace Townsley offers small business leaders big insights—one precisely chosen word at a time. Let's connect!

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