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Microsoft Security Copilot: An AI assistant for cybersecurity

It has long been accepted that the human element is where most cybersecurity systems fail. According to the 2021 IBM Cyber Security Intelligence Index Report, human error was found to be responsible for 95% of all cybersecurity breaches. It is only natural then to utilise AI as the new weapon in the digital arms race that is cybersecurity.

AIs capacity to analyse things objectively, or at least more objectively that any human analyst possibly could be the key in helping to prevent future breaches.

Microsoft Security Copilot

Security Copilot is a new tool developed by Microsoft designed to assist cybersecurity professionals identify problem areas and to help them sift through the tonnes of data and signals constantly streaming past them. An AI assistant powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4 generative AI and Microsoft’s own model that has been fine-tuned for security-specific concerns. On the surface, Security Copilot appears like any other AI chat model. You can ask queries like “what are all the security issues in my system?” and the AI with return with results summarised to be understood by the user. Under the hood, Security Copilot is working with your specific data and all of the information that Microsoft collects in the course of their own intelligence gathering and cybersecurity endeavours.

Like other AI programs, Security Copilot accepts inputs in natural language. This means that it is a simple as asking in your own words about a security vulnerability, paste in a URL and ask for more information or upload files for the AI to check out. The method of natural language input means that the user spends less time attempting to translate their own thoughts into instructions to be interpreted by a machine.

Working together

Of course, it would be folly to completely replace the work of the cybersecurity analyst with an automated system. Security Copilot is instead designed to augment the cybersecurity analyst’s work by making it easier to pinpoint flaws and work together with other security professionals. Important findings can be pinned and kept in a collaborative workspace where colleagues can all view the same information. Files, URLs, snippets of code can all be uploaded to be pored over during shared investigations. The result is more like a digital version of the classic corkboard of photos connected by thread seen often in crime dramas.

A prompt book feature allows a user to bundle multiple steps into a simple button or prompt. This allows the AI to perform tasks in a specific way for repeated instances, freeing time for security specialists to work on other things.

The benefits of AI

The Security Copilot purports to be able to able to offer a range of improvements to the performance of the cybersecurity professional. By limiting the scope of an AI system onto the specific need for cybersecurity, Microsoft have created a tool that can focus on spotting issues before they become problems and can better equip professionals whenever a crisis arises.

Security Coplilot allows the use of a Zero Trust approach to cybersecurity instead of the more-outdated perimeter-based approach. Implementing a Zero Trust methodology means that a single breach is unlikely to lead to the whole system ending up compromised.

Security teams can respond to threats and vulnerabilities much faster due to the automation offered by Security Copilot. The time freed due to these automated processes allows security professionals to concentrate on strategy instead of mundane maintenance.

Machine learning algorithms search through a hoard of security data at a much more feasible rate than human analysts. False positives and negatives are kept to a minimum as the algorithm improves. This allows those in charge of defending systems to respond quickly and efficiently when there is a security incident.

Improved capacity for collaboration means a stronger response whenever there is a situation that needs to be dealt with. Information can be easily shared, and responses are easy to coordinate.

The vigilance offered by Microsoft Security Copilot allows teams to spot threats much more efficiently. Vulnerabilities become much easier to spot which leads to faster responses in patching them away.

Moving forward

Microsoft seems to be always experimenting with new innovations in cybersecurity. An Ai driven tool to help spot threats and resolve them may be just the thing needed as more and more aspects of the digital era become AI driven.

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