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Cybersecurity Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Email Security: What You Need To Know

With over 90% of all cyberattacks beginning with a phishing campaign, email remains the most common attack vector for threat actors, and successfully addressing email security requires more than traditional prevention techniques. In fact, our Intelligence team saw a 569% increase in malicious phishing emails that bypassed standard email security solutions in 2022. With the application of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), businesses can gain much greater levels of protection—all while optimizing organizational efficiency in the process. Let’s explore how AI and ML are used in email security systems to help decision makers create an effective defense strategy against potential malicious activity on corporate networks. 

Overview of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning 

AI and ML are rapidly changing the way we live and work. AI refers to systems that can complete complex tasks that typically require human intelligence, while ML is a subset of AI that focuses on enabling machines to learn from data without being explicitly programmed. Both technologies have significant implications for email security. Properly using AI and ML can allow organizations to better detect and respond to email-based threats like phishing and malware. These technologies can also help streamline the identification and management of sensitive information in emails, reducing the risk of data breaches. As our reliance on email continues to increase, the role of AI and ML in email security will only become more important. 

How does Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning relate to email security?  

When it comes to email security, AI and ML can play a critical role in keeping your inbox safe from all sorts of cyber threats. By analyzing patterns in your emails and flagging suspicious behaviors, these advanced technologies can help prevent phishing attacks, malware infections, and other types of hacks that can compromise your sensitive information. While AI and ML are seen as ways to process information faster and make teams more efficient, it is important to remember that these systems are only as smart as the information that powers them. Feeding both AI and ML with human-vetted intelligence and algorithms is key to creating a safe environment.  

Benefits of using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for email security  

Email security has become a major concern for individuals and businesses alike. With the rise of phishing scams, it’s more important than ever to protect your online identity. Fortunately, advances in AI and ML have made it easier to detect and prevent these threats. By using these technologies, email security systems can analyze incoming messages in real-time and identify suspicious activity. This intelligence allows these systems to take action before a message reaches your inbox, potentially saving you from clicking on a harmful link or downloading a malicious attachment. With AI and ML, your email security can be taken to a whole new level, giving you peace of mind and protection in an increasingly digital world. 

Challenges associated with the implementation of AI/ML in email security  

Implementing AI and ML in email security is not without its challenges. As stated above, sole dependence on AI and ML can be cause for concern with this ever-changing technology. These systems have to be continually programmed and taught what to look for, especially as threat actors are constantly evolving phishing scams. Human intelligence is still key to helping AI and ML programs learn and develop as the programs are only as powerful as the information that feeds them. 

How does Cofense utilize AI and ML in its email security solutions? 

There is no doubt that AI and ML are changing the email security landscape for the better, which is why our solutions have been using these technologies for years. With over a decade of experience, we know this technology can only take us so far because threat actors are always refining their techniques and finding new ways to penetrate these systems. Let’s face it, intelligence is king. The more intelligence points that feed systems, the more accurate and reliable results the models can produce.  

That’s why we’re the only end-to-end email security solution powered by a global network of unique intelligence sources (human intelligence, AI, and email attack intelligence) that continually power our ML. 

Leveraging the data created by the global Cofense network of more than 35 million trained, human sensors, our proprietary phishing intelligence data provides analysis with a 99.996% accuracy rate, which is why we are well positioned to lead the use of AI and ML in the email security space. The more intelligence we gather, the safer our customers become. That’s the power of the network effect using AI, ML, and human intelligence.  

And that’s just the beginning. 

We are currently taking things a step further by exploring the integration of Natural Language Processing (NLP) alongside our existing machine learning and computer vision techniques. NLP can enhance email security by analyzing the content, structure, and language patterns in emails, helping to identify potential phishing attempts and other malicious activities. As AI models evolve, they will be able to detect even the most subtle inconsistencies, effectively mitigating threats. 

Additionally, we’re examining the potential of AI-powered behavioral analysis to monitor user behavior patterns, which can help pinpoint anomalies that could indicate spear phishing attacks or account compromises. By integrating NLP and other AI-driven techniques into our existing arsenal, Cofense aims to equip end users with the tools necessary to identify and flag attacks without hindering the flow of vital business information. 

What This All Means for You 

It’s clear that AI and ML are the way of the future, and they have a strong role to play in better email security if done correctly. Organizations need to ensure they have an intelligent security system in place, one that goes beyond simple Secure Email Gateways (SEGs) and standard email security tools from yesterday. In case you didn’t know, almost 50% of all email phishing attacks, including business email compromise (BEC) and credential theft, evade secure email gateways (SEGs). 

So, don’t wait until it’s too late – take control of your email security now with intelligent email security solutions. Cofense provides just what you need: comprehensive end-to-end email security solutions powered by AI, ML and human-vetted intelligence. 

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