Intensifying Cyberthreat Landscape Makes AI and Automation Imperative

Intensifying Cyberthreat Landscape Makes AI and Automation Imperative

By Matthew Vulpis

As the world continues to migrate every business process, payment method and even the way we work to online spaces, the digital playground of new opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit has grown. Innovative technologies accelerate the way we do business and conduct our social lives, but they also provide the same advances to the bad actors who are growing in speed, volume, and sophistication, creating a perilous environment for enterprises to navigate.

There has been a 600 percent increase in cybercrime since 2020, and the threats continue to grow. Roughly 30,000 websites were hacked daily in 2021, with 64 percent of all companies experiencing some form of cyberattack during the last calendar year. Furthermore, the consequences of falling victim to a hack or breach have grown, as it is now estimated that cybercrime will cost companies worldwide $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion in 2015.

Overall, cybercrime is perceived to be such a risk that 75 percent of businesses believe they need to put more emphasis on cybersecurity and other cybercrime prevention practices to protect themselves and their customers. Prior to 2021, 54 percent of companies said their IT departments were not sophisticated enough to handle advanced cyberattacks.

With cybersecurity now a priority, the market for cybersecurity solutions and services has skyrocketed. Revenue in the cybersecurity market is projected to reach $159.80 billion by the end of 2022 and is expected to show a CAGR of 13.33 percent, resulting in estimates that put the market value at $298.70 billion by 2027.

The rise in demand for cybersecurity has also increased the demand for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to integrate managed security into their offerings.

“MSPs have quickly become essential for businesses who need reliable cybersecurity solutions, creating unlimited new revenue opportunities by extension,” said Ryan Walsh, Chief Operating Officer of Pax8. “In the cloud, it all comes together – computing, storage, applications, XaaS, networking, and above all, security.”

According to Walsh, this has created a new urgency for MSPs to offer robust cybersecurity solutions. As of today, eight out of 10 MSPs have lost customers because they lack security offerings. This has prompted MSPs to search for applications or solutions that can improve their cybersecurity offerings for their own benefit and the benefit of their customers.

Automation can be just the answer MSPs are looking for when it comes to enhancing their cybersecurity offerings, said Matt Miller, Liongard’s VP of Product.  

“Our vision is to provide complete visibility into the IT stack, turning system, and security configurations across the entire vendor ecosystem into consistent data,” Miller said. “With that data, we can power artificial intelligence and machine learning outcomes to automate IT security operations and employ software-driven processes to detect, investigate, and proactively remediate security threats.”

In IT, automation refers to the technology applications that perform repetitive tasks, freeing up employees for higher-value work. This includes business process automation (BPA), robotic process automation (RPA), and AI-powered automation. For MSPs, automation allows them to offer superior defenses to their clientele.

Without the help of automation, studies show that IT teams often must ignore 74 percent or more of alerts they face, potentially leaving them at risk of missing the one alert that could signal a devastating attack.

Additionally, automation can be a way to offload routine, repeatable tasks from security engineers, allowing them time to focus on more significant strategic tasks that can add value to a customer organization.

“Manual security monitoring can be time-consuming and is too dependent on workforce availability. Automation allows SecOps teams to automate manual, policy-driven tasks and instead focus on more strategic work,” Miller adds.

For an MSP, that means their engineers can shift their focus from routine monitoring or response tasks to strategic tasks, such as building cybersecurity plans, upgrading systems, and more – tasks that deliver value to their customers and strengthen their relationship as business advisors, not just a technical resource.

“The ability to demonstrate cybersecurity competence sits at the core of their value proposition to customers. The ability to respond to alerts is an expected, table-stakes outcome these days,” Miller explained. “Automation can help ease that burden and let the MSP deliver additional, differentiated value.”

“Neither automation nor human work alone will solve for all security threats, but the intelligent deployment of automation to make sure that the humans are looking at the right things is essential,” Miller said. “Cybersecurity threats aren’t slowing down, making automation critical for any enterprise who wishes to remain competitive during the digital era.”

Edited by Erik Linask
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