Reduce Data Breach Costs With Artificial Intelligence

March 18, 2021
Jeff Ahlerich

Artificial intelligence (AI) may be the key to reducing data breaches and controlling the costs associated with them. As cybersecurity threats grow in numbers and become increasingly complex, sophisticated, and nefarious, IT security leaders must take a proactive approach to security, stopping threats before they become real (and costly) problems. AI is quickly becoming a significant data breach prevention tool and has shown to reduce costs for the organization. According to the 2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report, organizations that did not have AI deployed for security automation saw a 95% higher total cost associated with data breaches. How can AI reduce data breaches and their associated costs?


AI is a powerful tool to scour through the wealth of threat information available, saving valuable time and effort in the process. It’s virtually impossible for one individual to be able to effectively read, analyze, interpret, and act on every nodule of information that may or may not be useful or even credible. That’s where AI can help. According to IBM, “Curating threat intelligence from millions of research papers, blogs, and news stories, AI provides instant insights to help you fight through the noise of thousands of daily alerts, drastically reducing response times.”


IT security professionals are bombarded with alerts on a daily basis, making it increasingly difficult to devote the proper attention and time to investigate and resolve credible concerns. According to Security Intelligence, “Most analysts don’t have the time to look at even half the alerts they receive each day, and only a small fraction that is identified as threats are actually remediated, resulting in a large number of threats going unidentified and unresolved.” Simply hiring more security analysts is not the solution. Doing so would only treat the symptom, not the core problem. To truly reduce alert fatigue and improve security threat remediation, IT security professionals must lean on AI to review all alerts and sort by priority level. IT security professionals need a reliable right hand to support their efforts, and that’s where AI can help.


Although AI is not intended as a replacement for IT security professionals (and for good reason), it can provide critical support, filling in some of the skills shortages experienced by many teams. Recent data shows that 76% of cybersecurity leaders are facing a skills shortage. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the issue. As most businesses plan to continue with a remote work environment (at least for the foreseeable future), IT teams are finding themselves stretched thin. AI can help these teams manage the increasing influx of security threats with greater confidence and accuracy. Upskilling IT security talent will still be necessary. As with any technology, AI still requires human oversight to be truly effective long-term.


How credible is the threat? What information do we know about it? What are the potential ramifications? Digging into cybersecurity threats is a critical function of your IT security team. The more you know about the threat, the better equipped you’ll be to respond. According to Security Intelligence, “AI gives analysts the information they need to reduce mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR) -- with a quicker, more decisive escalation process. Quicker threat identification and containment significantly lower costs associated with those breaches.”


Cybersecurity threats are continually evolving, which means your IT security protocols to address these threats must continue to evolve as well. The COVID-19 pandemic added a layer of complexity that many IT security professionals could not have anticipated going into 2020. It’s not a matter of simply hiring more professionals to handle the onslaught of challenges. To truly be effective, IT security leaders must consider the value of AI to support their teams and organization. AI can give your team the upper hand when it comes to identifying and assessing incoming threats to your organization, enabling you to be proactive and reduce the likelihood and costs associated with a data breach.

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