Sunday, December 4, 2022

How AI Is Being Put To Work In Email Security Services and Products

With the revolutionary growth of technology, sending letters through the internet became an essential part of life to communicate. But, with the advancement of technology, we were complemented with threats to security. Day by day, we hear thousands of cases where hackers conduct malicious attacks, viruses, and frauds through email. Especially for organizations, irrespective of the size, email security services are moving towards being a necessity than a requirement.

And artificial intelligence (AI) may be the only technology that can fight with previously found flaws. That is especially where AI comes into the picture. With the help of AI, we are moving closer to a perfect world with fully effective email security solutions and much fewer chances of any malicious activity through email. And we are here to explain to you how it is possible.

Why Email Security?

You might ask: why email security is needed at all? Well, we would like to inform you that the FBI has released data that targeted email attacks resulted in $1.2 billion business losses last year alone. Many email accounts of trusted employees, partners, politicians, celebrities, and other parties are hacked to perform email attacks.

PwC recently reported that 27% of the responding 9,500 businesses were planning to invest in AI or machine learning for email security. In today’s world, email scams can be used to fetch out money, data, or spread a virus; therefore, email security should be the topmost priority in any organization.

(Reference: https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/library/artificial-intelligence-predictions.html)

History of Email Security Solutions

The fight for secured emails began with signature-based solutions. The software checks mails and their respective attachments as a cross-reference with an extensive database of previously found malicious messages. But hackers could easily make slight changes in each letter and avoid detection.

This technology is still used now in hyperlinks. But hackers use multiple different links that redirects to one malicious website they want you to enter. This filtering technique might fail if the filtering is too stringent, which restricts genuine legitimate messages and or if also straightforward, which may not catch malicious messages.

Another way to detect malicious messages is to find the common characteristics of messages rather than the message content itself. All the other traditional products like secure email gateways, fingerprint-based threat detection, IP, and URL blacklisting, despite all the efforts, have failed to fool the hackers.

AI-based Solutions

All these solutions have drawbacks, but the world is using AI to develop email security solutions that are close to 100% effective. There are various AI-based products that scan the internet for all the phishing sites and use the underlying neural networks to detect any messages which contain links to such websites.

There is one more AI technique that you can use to compare genuine and fake websites. For example, there are many fake websites of amazon which, when compared with the genuine one, would be difficult to distinguish immediately. AI can help address this situation, as well.

We can also use machine learning and AI to find out patterns in sets of data and make business decisions that are helpful to users. We can use a proactive approach where we are ready for any malicious attack against the users. Machine learning promotes real-time threat detection using trained and autonomous systems to detect unknown email threats.

We can use AI to find anomalies in the patterns of a company’s activities and decide whether an email activity is suspicious. AI can examine the emails to help establish intent. Deep neural networks can analyze millions of emails and classify them.

Along these lines, in a recent Forbes article, the following roles of AI in cybersecurity are mentioned:

  • Create biometric-based login techniques – Many private email security providers like EPRIVO are using two-factor authentication and biometric technology like a fingerprint as well as a face lock for accessing emails. This, in addition to the normal device authentication. EPRIVO also encrypts emails and provides authentication for senders and content. AI is employed to rank the projected privacy sensitivity of received emails if they are not sent as private emails.
  • Detect threats and malicious activities – AI can detect patterns of unusual events and ultimately enable solutions to prevent the occurrence of such activities. While AI often checks links in the email against senders’ domain names, AI can further classify the links.
  • Learn with natural language processing – AI can also scan the news on security threats and select useful information from that data through model generation. This way, AI systems may update themselves with the ability to classify new risks better.
  • Secure conditional access – AI can also help create a dynamic, real-time authentication framework that provides access based on location or network. This benefit makes security even more stringent. Email security solutions like EPRIVO also offer physical as well as digital security for emails which means there are even fewer chances of hackers getting into your email.

Human with AI

When humans report some messages or emails as malicious and spam, such data can be fed into machine learning and used in the future. And AI helps understaffed IT teams to take actions on the list of suspicious messages more effectively. With the help of AI and machine learning, we can investigate all false positives and false negatives to improve our defenses.

Limitations of Using AI

AI provides reasonable assurance to block most of the malicious email threats, but like all artificial systems, it will not give a guarantee. AI itself depends on its training and overall architecture. AI theoretical foundations are improved as we speak. Besides that, employees may not be trained well on how to use AI. Excessive vendor hypes and sensational press coverages create unrealistic expectations in the mind of users and could hamper the growth of AI-based security solutions.

Conclusion

AI and machine learning are a significant step forward in aiding cybersecurity solutions. AI has undoubtedly remedied some of the flaws of previously designed security solutions and will continue to improve as there is tremendous effort put into its development from universities and big organizations alike. And clearly, AI is moving towards making emails more secure. Security-awareness training with AI support is another big step.

Although making predictions is not easy in this rapidly changing technology world, we can for sure say that AI will be a big part of the future of cybersecurity because of its ability to learn, adapt, and make decisions.

Andy Debolt
Andy is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism. When he isn't writing Andy enjoys water sports and spending time on the golf course.
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