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Editor’s Comment: How to ensure organisations are using AI and automation effectively

Editor’s Comment: How to ensure organisations are using AI and automation effectively

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Samantha Humphries, Head of Security Strategy EMEA, Exabeam, explains how to make sure that organisations are tailoring Artificial Intelligence and automation to their business in meaningful ways.

AI offers huge practical benefits – both in terms of a vastly improved customer experience and as a support mechanism for the entire workforce. However, concerns around Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation have become so widespread that it’s created a sort of moral panic around the term. Needless to say, these concerns are for the most part unfounded. There have been some amazing advancements in AI that mean a more tailored experience for consumers. At its core, AI provides a toolset that can predict problems, identify solutions and then put these into motion. From a cybersecurity perspective, being able to respond to potential issues faster and more accurately is so important. Ultimately, this translates to better protection for consumers, their data and the services they rely on.

The power and potential of AI may seem scary, but by helping operational staff to do a better job, more accurately and more efficiently, the technology is providing huge value across all industries. When it comes to explaining Machine Learning to end-users, simplicity but accuracy are key. In the words of Einstein: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” And it’s true – vendors are often good at explaining the benefits of Machine Learning tangibly – and there are many – but not the process behind it, and hence it’s often seen as a buzzword. Machine Learning can seem scary from the outset, because ‘how does it know?’ It knows because it’s been trained, and it’s been trained by humans. We feed it information, and then it can make decisions based on that information faster than we ever could. From this, it can spot anomalies quicker, which means it can alert a human or another machine to go and do something about that problem.

While an understanding of data science and maths is useful for successful AI deployment in a business, it really depends on whether you’re building or customising something yourself. A lot of products with built-in Machine Learning and AI will function out of the box pretty well. It can take a couple of weeks to normalise, but in a lot of cases, you can leave AI to get on with it. We’ve seen success many times, even within the first few days of deployment, where our technology is already picking up abnormalities that would not have been seen through any other mechanism. If you have a good vendor, they should also have a simple and digestible way that allows you to tweak the sensitivity of the interface. For us at Exabeam, for example, we can help to tailor the AI based on the customers’ needs and what’s important in their IT environment. You don’t necessarily need a doctorate from Cambridge to deploy AI and automation technology to your business in a meaningful way.

Ultimately, AI is there to support you, and it will pave the way for more interesting, Value Add positions. AI brings speed and accuracy, which will give individuals time back in a notoriously under-resourced industry. We do not need to fear AI and Machine Learning. We should be celebrating the rewards and the opportunities it will open up for us.

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