HomeArtificial IntelligenceMicrosoft’s “Copilot for Security” brings generative AI to the front lines of...

Microsoft’s “Copilot for Security” brings generative AI to the front lines of cybersecurity

Microsoft announced today that Copilot for safety, a generative AI-powered platform designed to assist security professionals combat the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape, might be generally available worldwide starting April 1. The launch comes at a time when organizations are grappling with an unprecedented rise in cyberattacks and a critical shortage of expert security personnel.

Vasu Jakkal, corporate vp of security at Microsoft, emphasized the importance of this release in a recent interview with VentureBeat. “GenAI is a superpower that needs security immediately,” she said. “If you’re taking a step back and take a look at the threat landscape and what we're coping with, you realize that the speed, scale and class of attacks have increased quite dramatically within the last 12 months alone.”

“I consider the subsequent 18 months of AI innovation will define the subsequent 18 years of cybersecurity,” she added. “If we will work together, we might need a likelihood to do something higher.”

Microsoft's Copilot for Security dashboard provides a single view of AI-powered cybersecurity insights, including incident investigations, vulnerability assessments, suspicious script evaluation, and threat actor profiling. (Source: Microsoft)

Addressing asymmetry within the cyber landscape

Copilot for Security is predicated on OpenAI's GPT-4 model and is the primary and only generative AI cybersecurity product available on the market. The platform was in private preview with dozens of consumers and in early access with a whole lot more, allowing Microsoft to refine the tool based on real-world feedback.

“We went into private preview with dozens of consumers who were actually in scope creation mode after which opened them up for early access in the autumn; We have made it available to a whole lot of consumers so we will learn from them and our partners,” Jakkal told VentureBeat. “And now we’re excited to announce the final availability of Copilot for Security.”

The launch comes at a critical time for the cybersecurity industry. Jakkal highlighted the alarming pace and scale of cyberattacks: Microsoft is tracking 300 individual state and financial crime actors, in comparison with 200 last 12 months. According to Jakkal, ransomware has also turn into a thriving gig economy, with cybercrime expected to cost the worldwide economy $8.5 trillion this 12 months alone.

Compounding the issue is a severe skills shortage in cybersecurity, with an estimated 4 million unfilled positions worldwide. “We really have this asymmetry within the cyber landscape,” Jakkal said. “The attackers are getting smarter, faster, higher, we just don't have enough defenders. And it takes an extended time to rent and train these defense attorneys.”

Empower defenders with generative AI

Copilot for Security goals to level the playing field by augmenting human capabilities through generative AI. The platform integrates with Microsoft's extensive security portfolio, including Microsoft Defender XDR, Microsoft Sentinel, Microsoft Purview, Microsoft Entra and Microsoft Intune, in addition to third-party tools. This centralized approach simplifies the usually fragmented and complicated security landscape.

“Today we process 70 trillion signals per day,” Jakkal told VentureBeat. “Without signals, AI cannot function.” By leveraging this vast trove of information and the facility of generative AI, Copilot for Security might help detect threats which may otherwise go unnoticed, provide guided remediation, and manage time-consuming tasks like report writing to automate.

The platform's natural language interface and support for multiple languages ​​(including English, French, Spanish and Japanese) make it accessible to a wider range of users, from novice security professionals to experienced experts. “We want this to be possible for young professionals and experienced professionals. We want diverse populations to learn and underserved communities to participate,” Jakkal said. “Everyone should have the option to be a defender, not only just a few.”

The way forward for cybersecurity defense

Microsoft's introduction of a consumption-based pricing model for Copilot for Security underscores the corporate's commitment to creating the tool widely available. Customers can start with a Security Compute Unit and scale as needed, paying just for what they use.

Jakkal believes that generative AI will fundamentally transform the cybersecurity industry, enabling organizations to defeat threats at machine speed and scale. “Humans turn into more expert at this machine speed,” she explained. “So it really helps to defend at machine speed. And so it helps you discover the endpoint connection that you simply might need missed.”

As more corporations adopt AI-powered security tools like Copilot for Security, the playing field could shift in favor of defenders. However, as with every powerful technology, there are concerns about potential misuse by malicious actors. Microsoft has emphasized its commitment to responsible AI development and deployment and is working closely with customers and partners to make sure the platform is used ethically and effectively.

The launch of Copilot for Security marks a major milestone in the applying of generative AI to cybersecurity. As the threat landscape continues to evolve, tools like Copilot for Security can turn into essential for organizations that wish to stay one step ahead of attackers. With the potential to avoid wasting trillions of dollars in cybercrime costs and redirect those resources to more productive uses, the impact of this technology could reach far beyond the realm of cybersecurity.

“Even if we participate of that ($8.5 trillion in cybercrime costs) and invest that in sustainability, poverty reduction or mutual aid, would that be a greater way?” Jakkal pondered. “So that’s what I believe we should always strive for.”

As Microsoft and other tech giants proceed to take a position in generative AI for cybersecurity, the industry is at a critical inflection point. The next 18 months might be critical in determining whether these tools can truly transform the cybersecurity landscape and deliver a safer future for organizations and individuals alike.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read