The Australian Organisations Looking to Generative AI to Boost Security Operations
AustralianSuper, Powerlink Queensland and TAL among the first organisations exploring Microsoft’s Copilot for Security to enhance defence capabilities
Posted: Tuesday, Apr 30
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  • The Australian Organisations Looking to Generative AI to Boost Security Operations
The Australian Organisations Looking to Generative AI to Boost Security Operations

Harmful cyber activity continues to pose a risk to Australia’s defences, with cyber threat actors using increasingly sophisticated tactics including looking to Generative AI to augment their operations. Cybersecurity remains a top priority for organisations, with new GenAI tools becoming available to help empower security analysts to defend at machine speed and scale.

Australian Super, Powerlink Queensland, and TAL are leading the way in bolstering their cybersecurity measures by becoming the first Australian organisations to deploy Microsoft Copilot for Security, the first generative AI security product brought to market. The service builds on large language models (LLMs) and harnesses Microsoft’s security expertise and global threat intelligence – including 78 trillion daily threat signals – to help security defenders outpace their adversaries.

Copilot for Security has been offered to select organisations through the company’s Early Access Program (EAP) which kicked off in December 2023. Earlier this month it became available for general purchase to organisations across Australia on a consumption-based pay-as-you-go model.

“With recent reports exposing early moves of threat actors using AI to research and refine their attacks, we are at a pivotal moment where we need to bring new capabilities to ensure we can defend at machine speed,” said Evan Williams, Business Group Director for Security at Microsoft ANZ. “Given the global skills shortage we are facing in cybersecurity, there is an immense opportunity for generative AI to help up-skill security teams, save them time when it matters most, and free them to focus on more complex or strategic work.”

A recent economic study examined Copilot for Security users against a control group and found experienced security analysts were 22 per cent faster with Copilot, 7 per cent more accurate across all tasks, and most notably, 97 per cent said they want to use Copilot the next time they do the same task. An earlier study that focused on new-in-career analysts, found that participants using Copilot were 44 per cent more accurate and 26 per cent faster on foundational tasks such as investigation and response, threat hunting and threat intelligence assessments.

Tackling Cybersecurity Threats At Scale and Speed

TAL, a leading Australian life insurer, and one of the first organisations to deploy Copilot for Microsoft 365, has also signed up to the Copilot for Security EAP. The company says the investment supports its commitment to technology innovation, with security-focused AI tools key to continuously improving employee and customer experiences – faster, safely.

Speed is paramount in security, with recent data from Microsoft’s Digital Defence Report indicating that it takes just 72 minutes for an attacker to access an organisation’s private data once they gain access via a phishing email, and 1 hour and 42 minutes for an attacker to begin moving laterally within the corporate network. Using generative AI in security means that defenders can respond to security incidents in a fraction of the time when every minute matters.

For AustralianSuper, Copilot for Security is helping the cyber defence team accelerate detection and response. As a result, the company’s team anticipates that the technology will drive productivity benefits and time savings in generating event and incident reporting, while providing an opportunity to enhance the team’s effectiveness by summarising security incidents with recommendations and additional context.

Technology That Elevates Human Strengths

With AustCyber predicting an urgent need for an additional 7,000 skilled cybersecurity specialists in Australia over the next two years, the industry is looking to AI to augment and scale team skills and capacity.

For Powerlink Queensland, joining the Copilot for Security EAP program allowed them to explore generative AI to enable the security team to streamline processes, while fast tracking skills development for their analysts.

Copilot for Security Now Available For Every Organisation

Towards Microsoft’s goal of enabling security for all, Copilot for Security is using a provisioned pay-as-you-go licensing model, enabling access to a wider range of organisations than any other solution on the market. With this flexible, consumption-based pricing model, businesses can get started quickly, then scale their usage and costs according to needs and budget.

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