May 22, 2024

Cybercrime Costs Skyrocket to $10.5 Trillion: AI in Cybersecurity Fights Back

The annual cost of cybercrime is skyrocketing to $10.5 trillion by 2025, forcing businesses to adopt new solutions like AI to combat rising fraud, zero-day threats, and an ever-expanding attack surface.

10 min read

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Paul Estes

For 20 years, Paul struggled to balance his home life with fast-moving leadership roles at Dell, Amazon, and Microsoft, where he led a team of progressive HR, procurement, and legal trailblazers to launch Microsoft’s Gig Economy freelance program

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  • The global cost of cybercrime is skyrocketing, reaching $10.5 trillion USD by 2025, a $7 trillion increase since 2015.

  • AI can monitor the global attack surface, with companies like IBM managing over 2 million endpoints and monitoring over 150 billion security events with AI each day.

  • Businesses can use AI in cybersecurity to automate 85% of threat detection and response, saving time and thwarting a considerable percentage of total cyber attacks.

Staff writer

From AI to FinOps, our team's collective brainpower fuels this blog.

The annual cost of cybercrime will exceed $10.5 trillion USD by 2025. This figure has increased by 7 trillion over the last decade, demonstrating the dire state of global cybersecurity today. 

Each year, teams of cyber criminals find new technologies to leverage, new strategies to employ, and new vulnerabilities to break into enterprise systems and breach sensitive data. Each breach could include millions of records, with some industries costing as much as $429 per record, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars in lost value. 

Cybersecurity teams must manage an endlessly expanding attack surface, manage countless user endpoints, and incorporate new technological innovations to turn the tide.

One of the most impactful technologies in cybersecurity has been AI. Artificial intelligence helps reduce the number of data breaches, enhance fraud detection, improve threat detection tools, and even improve threat response protocols.

Source: Cost per stolen record per data breach, by sector.

Every sector, from health and finance to retail and media, needs to increase cybersecurity, with AI being the solution. 

AI in Cybersecurity Solves Three of the Most Prominent Sector Issues

The international cyber threat is currently at a critical level, with rising cases of fraud, account hacking, and data breaches causing severe consequences for businesses worldwide. Beyond the financial repercussions of a cyber attack, organizations face reputation damage, with 75% of users expressing their desire to cut ties with a brand after a significant security incident.

While the cyber threat cannot be solved with one technology, artificial intelligence in cybersecurity is helping to solve three of the biggest problems that companies are currently facing in this sector:

  • Fraud Detection: A prominent focus of cybercrime is within the financial industry. Especially with the rise of phishing, banks, and financial institutions are increasingly the target of fraud from compromised accounts. AI in cybersecurity aims to prevent this, providing high-precision account monitoring to detect unusual behavior and freeze cards and accounts before they become the victim of fraud. 
  • Zero-Day Threats: Zero-day threats are one of the most prominent fears of modern cyber security. Appearing out of thin air, these attacks are often swift, damaging, and vicious. AI in cybersecurity allows businesses to monitor for disruptions in their core systems more accurately. AI tools can detect zero-day threats before they become a problem, locking down and disabling accounts, applications, and critical infrastructure to halt zero-day exploits.
  • Threat Response Mobilization: The average company’s attack surface is now unimaginable. Across every system node, end-user device, and user account, cybersecurity experts have to contend with millions of potential access points that hackers could use. Artificial intelligence allows teams to automate the monitoring and response to threats across the entire attack surface. By automating with AI, teams can quickly mobilize to real threats, with AI escalation improving response times.

AI in cybersecurity is actively automating many key processes in the field, freeing up security agent time for more pressing attacks while neutralizing some of the most prominent attack vectors in their tracks. 

Let’s discover how three enterprises utilize AI in cybersecurity to fight against cybercrime. 

Bank of America: AI-Powered Fraud Detection and Account Monitoring

The global index of total banking fraud continues to increase each year. In 2021, 26% of institutions experienced card fraud. One year later, this figure rose by 10%, reaching 36% of all institutions. Global banking fraud—both on a customer and institution level—represents a cybercrime target that amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars in yearly losses.

Attempting to combat bank fraud, Bank of America launched an AI-powered fraud detection, response, and management system.

BoA managed over 19.5 million customer accounts in three years, utilizing their AI bot Erica. Every day, Erica investigates over 400,000 suspicious interactions, inspecting them to gather more data on each request.

Instead of a cybersecurity agent having to monitor each of these requests, Erica can do so automatically and around the clock. This AI system dramatically reduces the workload for cybersecurity professionals. Armed with up-to-date attack vector patterns, Erica can accurately detect fraud in an account and freeze the account.

While traditional cybersecurity teams have to inspect each potential report individually, Erica reduces this workload, meaning they only have to look into the frozen accounts. This AI-first fraud detection and prevention method decreases the total number of successful fraud cases and enhances human agents' fraud response.
Additionally, Erica integrates into customer support, allowing 98% of customers to have their queries resolved automatically within 44 seconds. For cybersecurity and customer success teams, Erica has been a transformational technology. 

By adopting a composite AI-first and human-second fraud detection and response, Bank of America is reducing the number of successful fraud cases, enhancing client operations, and keeping customers' money safe from harm.

Palo Alto Networks: Fighting Back Against Zero-Day Threats

Palo Alto Networks is one of the largest cybersecurity enterprises in the United States, providing services to 85 of the Fortune 100. Representing companies like Vodafone, Airbus, Virgin Media, Deloitte, Comcast, and Southwest Airlines, Palo Alto’s security networks are on the front lines, protecting billions of dollars of corporate funds.

A central problem that Palo Alto Networks has faced in recent years is the increasing exploitation of zero-day vulnerabilities. Zero-day exploits are currently a top threat outlook at over 23% of companies worldwide, especially due to significant events like Log4J in recent years.

Source: Global companies; threat outlook for 2023, by reportable incidents.

Developers are unaware of zero-day exploits, which makes them a direct way for hackers to take control of systems, breach data, and steal important records. For many years, there was no effective way of preventing zero-day exploits other than pouring millions of dollars into red teaming and bug bounties.

Palo Alto Networks has integrated AI in cybersecurity defense against zero-day vulnerabilities. By actively monitoring applications and broader systems, AI can instantly detect when a zero-day exploit occurs, rapidly mobilizing forces to protect against further damage while alerting cybersecurity teams.

Artificial intelligence monitoring offers a 0.011% false positive rate and a 92% true positive rate, radically cutting down the severity of zero-day exploits and providing a world-class defense against this rising threat.

By incorporating AI in cybersecurity, Palo Alto Networks keeps billions of dollars in capital safe by reducing the past threat of zero-day vulnerabilities by over 90%. 

IBM: Automating Threat Response and Detection on a Global Attack Surface

IBM Security operates in 130 countries and serves over 10,000 security clients worldwide. Yet, as companies continually moved to the cloud, distributed its architecture, and began using new endpoints, the global attack surface became too challenging to manage.

With millions of endpoints to manage, IBM had to contend with an endless list of potential entry points for hackers. With no signs of company expansion and growth slowing down, they resorted to artificial intelligence to bolster threat detection and response.

IBM launched the Threat Detection and Response Service (TDR), an AI-powered threat monitoring, investigation, and remediation tool that works across all clients’ hybrid cloud environments. By leveraging AI in cybersecurity, IBM can automatically monitor client systems, close low-priority alerts, and escalate threat detection notifications if needed.

By using the MITRE ATT&CK Framework, IBM’s AI tools have access to the most up-to-date threat detection abilities. They understand the most common attack vectors and have to counter them. These systems can automate up to 85% of global cybersecurity efforts, representing an incredible time-saving opportunity for IBM security officers around the globe.

The IBM AI TDR tool covers over 2 million user endpoints worldwide and actively monitors over 150 billion security events every day. This security tool's sheer scope would be impossible without artificial intelligence.

By leveraging IBM’s AI system, security responses are now 50% faster for all their covered organizations. As AI instantly assesses and either solves or escalates 85% of queries, security officers can spend 100% of their time on significant threats. AI in cybersecurity saves time and allows security officers to spend time on validated threats, improving the security posture of companies across the globe.

How AI in Cybersecurity Is Making a Global Difference

The looming threat of cybercrime is constantly becoming more pronounced, with an ever-expanding attack surface rendering effective manual monitoring nearly impossible. Cybersecurity professionals are increasingly resorting to artificial intelligence technology to turn the tide.

Enterprises like Bank of America, Palo Alto Networks, and IBM have all developed and launched AI-first cybersecurity tools, enabling faster responses, more precise threat detection, and AI-enhanced systems monitoring. With incredible results, each of these organizations has radically improved its security posture and the defenses of its connected companies.

AI in cybersecurity is no longer a helpful addition but rather a necessity to combat the rising cyber threat.

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