An introduction to Microsoft Copilot for Security

When Microsoft announced that the cybersecurity industry’s first generative AI solution would be made generally available in just a matter of weeks, businesses across the globe stood to attention. That launch date – 1 April 2024 – is now here, and the rewards are ready to be reaped. 

Just like all other new technologies, those who act fastest will put themselves in the strongest possible position to leverage Copilot for Security as a competitive advantage. But before you dive in, it’s critically important to gain an understanding of how the technology works, what it can achieve, and how it can benefit your business. 

This short guide is here to bring you up to speed on all of that, enabling you to build a business case and better protect your organisation from both existing and future threats. Ready to harness the power of Copilot? Let’s dive in.

What is Copilot for Security? 

It’s no coincidence that the emergence of artificial intelligence has coincided with the growing rate of cyberattacks, with the World Economic Forum predicting that this trend will only continue throughout 2024. Bad actors are now equipped with revolutionary AI platforms that can target businesses at scale, and with incredible accuracy and agility, to the extent that Microsoft estimate that around 4,000 passwords attacks are happening every second of the day.  

Microsoft Copilot for Security enables businesses to better defend themselves against the threat that artificial intelligence, in the wrong hands, can pose. Using natural language models and trained on the 78 trillion security signals that Microsoft processes everyday, Copilot for Security can offer advice on how to fix incidents, produce reports, simplify complex data, and perform proactive threat-hunting tasks. It’s your AI assistant that allows cybersecurity professionals to identify, investigate, and deal with attacks more quickly and efficiently. 

Copilot for Security will also help find threats that were previously missed because of its ability to develop an understanding of threat activity signals and make connections when reviewing attack data. Its main goal is to improve the capabilities of Security Analysts by accelerating threat intelligence summaries and interpretation, allowing them to act faster and more decisively.  

It’s important to remember that Copilot for Security is a tool in the armoury of a cybersecurity professional – not a replacement for human intervention. Think of it as your AI sidekick.

What are the benefits of Copilot for Security? 

In its announcement, Microsoft highlighted top level findings from its pilot that celebrated the impact of Copilot for Security. It saw accuracy of security professionals increase by seven per cent, speed rise by 22 per cent, and 97 per cent of those who tested it said they would want to use Copilot the next time they did the same task. Results were green across the board, but it doesn’t stop there. 

Improved efficiency

Security teams face a daunting challenge of keeping pace with the ever-evolving threat landscape and the increasing complexity of security incidents. Copilot for Security helps professionals to automate and streamline their workflows at every stage of the incident lifecycle – from its identification to its resolution – and uses AI and natural language processing to analyse data, generate insights, provide recommendations, and generate high-quality reporting and documentation.  

Tedious tasks taken care of

In every job there are elements that can be a little tedious, and cybersecurity is no different. However, Copilot for Security can make many of these tasks – be it report writing, documentation, alerting or follow up – more enjoyable and straightforward with easy-to-use interfaces, natural language inputs and outputs, and interactive feedback loops. It can also generate engaging and informative content to enhance reports, such as graphs, charts and tables that make your content more appealing and digestible. Allowing you to gain confidence that you’re protecting your business.  

Enhanced response quality

Security experts need to provide accurate, timely, and consistent responses to security incidents alongside complying with an array of industry standards and regulations. And Copilot for Security can help you achieve this with ease. 

Copilot for Security helps meet these requirements by provide best practice guidance and templates, as well as checking the quality and completeness of responses in real time. It also learns from feedback and the preferences of the individual security expert to tailor its responses accordingly. 

Reduced resistance

There will inevitably be some resistance or reluctance from security experts when it comes to AI, but Copilot for Security has been specifically designed to overcome these obstacles by providing full transparency and allowing professionals to retain full control of the response process. Copilot for Security augments their capabilities and supports the expert’s decision making – it does not replace them. 

Empowered senior staff

The list of responsibilities and expectations of a senior cybersecurity staff member is long. Remits cover everything from setting the vision and direction of a security strategy, to managing stakeholder relationships and mentoring security teams. By providing high level overviews, insights and recommendations, Copilot for Security can help senior staff achieve all these objectives with high level overviews, insights, and recommendations, as well as assisting in the monitoring and delegation of tasks. 

How do you use Copilot for Security, and how much will it cost? 

You can’t come at Copilot for Security from a standing start. You’ll need to already have the ball rolling with access to Microsoft’s existing suite of security products – Microsoft Sentinel, Microsoft Defender, and Microsoft Intune. Those are the products that feed Copilot for Security with the insight and information it needs to provide insights and recommendations. You can also access Security Copilot through a standalone web-based interface, via chatbot, or directly within the context of the application during investigations, where you can type in your queries or choose from predefined scenarios, such as incident response, threat hunting, or security reporting.  

For example, if you want to investigate an ongoing attack, you can ask Copilot for Security questions like “What is the scope of the attack?”, “What are the attacker’s objectives?” or even “How do I stop the attack?”. The platform will then go away and analyse the data from your security products and generate responses that are tailored to your organisation, providing step-by-step instructions on how to remediate the attack based on proven tactics from real-world incidents, almost instantly. 

Microsoft has made Copilot for Security accessible to organisations of all shapes and sizes with a pay-as-you-go pricing model. Its usage will be billed monthly at a cost of $4 per hour – though as the number of users, number of queries, and the complexity of queries rise, so too will your outlay. At present there are no calculators available to Microsoft Partners or their customers to help understand costings more accurately, so our recommendation is to undertake a short trial period of one or two months to assess its cost and value if you want to get things up and running quickly. 

There is more to it, however, with Copilot for Security customers also gaining access to the Microsoft Defender Threat Intelligence workbench at no additional cost. This provides users with cyberthreat intelligence to assist them with understanding their adversaries and their methods, and to further enhance alert investigations. 

What next? 

Businesses operating within the Microsoft ecosystem have the opportunity to transform their cybersecurity processes immediately. Having been made generally available on 1 April 2024, there is little that stands between your team and the benefits of Copilot for Security. 

With cyber threats continually rising – and all predictions indicating that they will continue on an upwards trajectory – it’s critically important that you provide your organisation with the tools and capabilities it needs to keep its data, its people and its customers safe and secure. 

Whether adding artificial intelligence to your security processes is the next stop on your journey or it’s still a little way down the line, engaging a Microsoft Partner – like Cloud Direct – is the best way to get there. Through a range of assessments, readiness checks and managed services, we can help you unlock the full scope of capabilities that Copilot for Security brings, to best prepare your business to protect itself against the threats of today. Let’s talk.