Can artificial intelligence predict cyberattacks? Not quite yet, on a consumer level. But it is certainly an important tool for blocking day-zero and never-before-seen-threats. Choosing security software that utilises artificial intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning (ML) is fundamental to protecting businesses from cyberattacks in 2021. This is especially true for remote workers, who in the last year, and become the hottest target. Along with using security software with AI capabilities, organisations should overhaul their approaches to data security and digital transformation.


Choose AI-powered security

If threat actors are using AI for bad, you should use it for good. In 2021, it’s important to choose cybersecurity software that is able to keep ahead of advanced threat actors – products that you can trust to defend a distributed perimeter. Ensure that your IT teams are deploying firewalls and anti-malware solutions that use machine learning and artificial intelligence, such as the firewalls and email protection from our partners SonicWall and Mimecast.

The products use advanced machine learning algorithms and security sensors spread across the globe to automatically block threats in nanoseconds. They provide an “always up to date” security service that does not require definition updates to provide protection against cyberthreats. So, as a finance professional, you have peace of mind that data and systems availability are shielded from sophisticated, evolving cybercriminals.


Overhaul user data privileges

 Research suggests that most companies give users access to data that they don’t need, focusing too heavily on data sensitivity categorisation over actual user permissions. This means that sensitive financial records and business-critical data are at acute risk of been stolen, encrypted by threat actors, or unintentionally deleted. With human error the root cause of 90% of data breaches in the UK, clamp down on access permissions and privileges right now.

This will require cross-department collaboration and is an essential project worth undertaking every 6 months. Begin by auditing where data is housed and processed and categorising it accordingly. Then move from the bottom up to assign role and seniority-based permissions, implementing multifactor authentication as standard with Microsoft 365 and your ERP and CRM. Multifactor authentication adds an extra layer of security to business networks by ensuring every transaction or login requires a minimum of 2 security measures for access. Common and effective methods are single-use codes, app-generated codes, and even biometrics for remote devices.


Make remote the heart of digital transformation

As we know, remote workers are most vulnerable for the foreseeable future. Just as cybercriminals target outdated operating systems, they will funnel efforts toward those using rudimentary remote working infrastructure. Besides making rapid upgrades to any emergency IT implementations, place remote at the heart of your digital transformation strategy. Tempting as it is to lean back into “normal”, this is exactly what cybercriminals want. Whatever your intentions, put flexibility first to embrace digital transformation with zero data loss and greater control.


To learn more about the threats faced by remote workers, click here. Or to upgrade your cybersecurity with a solution that defends against never-before-seen-threats, call Starcom on 0844 579 0800 or click here.

by Craig Bradshaw

Head of Account Management

A technology enthusiast working in the Technology industry for almost 20 years, looking to deliver exceptional customer experience.