How AI is Impacting Cybersecurity for SMBs

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Jeni_Odley
edited June 14 in Business

Companies of all sizes are increasingly reliant on technology for their daily business. However, there is an enhanced cybersecurity risk as the world embraces a digital-first mindset, which can be detrimental to companies. Cyber attacks may result in financial losses, but that may just be the tip of the iceberg, and compromising a company’s reputation is often far more damaging. In 2023, the global cost of a data breach hit a staggering USD $4.45 million, jumping 15% from the previous three years, with 73% of SMBs reporting data breaches or cyber attacks. Large organizations have the financial muscle to hire cybersecurity experts, but what about SMBs? Unfortunately, limited resources and a lack of dedicated cybersecurity staff mean SMBs may be at higher risk of cyber attacks.  

The role of Artificial Intelligence in enhancing cybersecurity 

SMBs should adopt a strong cybersecurity strategy to protect themselves against potential attacks. Traditional best practices were strong password policies such as multi-factor authentication, regular software updates, and employee training and awareness. Although these are still valid practices, artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to enhance cybersecurity for companies worldwide, including SMBs.  

1. Threat detection and prevention 

AI and cybersecurity go hand-in-hand to safeguard digital systems against cyber threats. It uses machine learning and neural networks to detect, prevent, and act upon cyber attacks before they harm companies. Once an attack is detected, AI technology will suggest suitable remediation steps and responses to mitigate damage.  

2. Automated response 

Instead of requiring human responses to potential cyber threats, AI utilizes automated responses to reduce the response time between detection and prevention. Fast-acting AI solutions help minimize the damage caused by cyber-attacks before it is too late, providing monitoring and responses in real-time.  

3. Enhanced phishing protection 

Cybercriminals continually develop sophisticated or targeted phishing attacks to steal sensitive data. AI can block malicious IP addresses, shut down compromised systems and user accounts, and analyze emails and web pages to block potential phishing attempts as part of its cybersecurity arsenal. 

4. Behavioral analysis 

AI-powered solutions learn normal behavior before quickly scanning vast amounts of information to identify abnormal or harmful activities, which is crucial as cybersecurity attacks become increasingly sophisticated. They can also spot patterns or abnormalities that may be difficult for the human eye to pick up, leading to a more accurate detection of potentially malicious behavior. 

5. Vulnerability management 

AI can manage network vulnerabilities by analyzing existing security systems to identify points of weakness easily exploited by cybercriminals. AI and machine learning models scan network infrastructure, code, and configurations, then patch vulnerabilities to reduce the risk of cyberattacks.  

Benefits of AI cybersecurity for SMBs 

Over 61.7 million Americans were employed by SMBs in 2023, making them a crucial part of the country’s economy. With SMBs being three times more likely to fall victim to cybercriminals than large companies, their resilience against cyber attacks is vital. Here are some benefits of adopting AI-powered cybersecurity practices for SMBs.  

1. Cost-effective security 

The cost of security measures is likely to outweigh the potential cost of a cybersecurity attack. AI-powered cybersecurity solutions efficiently sift through vast amounts of data, thus reducing the need for SMBs to employ a whole security team. By identifying and mitigating potential cyber threats, AI tools can curb the damage of a full-blown cyber attack before they cause significant damage to SMBs. 

2. Scalability 

Traditional cybersecurity solutions may struggle to accommodate increased demands or be expensive to alter. AI cybersecurity systems are scalable and can grow and align with company expansion and growth via machine learning. 

3. Improved efficiency 

Managing numerous security solutions can be overwhelming and resource-intensive for SMBs, especially on a limited budget. SMBs often lack large cybersecurity teams and must make do with limited IT resources. AI-powered cybersecurity options offer advanced protection from a single platform, making it easier for SMBs to oversee and control potential cyber attacks.  

4. Proactive defense 

AI cybersecurity systems are programmed to check for potential risks without human intervention. They proactively stay one step ahead by analyzing data and mitigating threats to protect the company’s digital ecosystem.

Leveraging advanced technology: Acer TravelMate P and Intel vPro®

The Acer TravelMate P series includes lightweight, durable laptops that facilitate hybrid working and learning options. They boast a combination of next-generation hardware and highly functional applications for maximum productivity. Moreover, the additional Intel vPro® powers AI workloads and enhances security for Acer TravelMate P laptops. AI-powered security helps detect threats at the hardware level even before they occur, keeping user information safe from malicious hacks. This key feature keeps SMBs effortlessly protected from cyber threats so employees can focus on their jobs rather than security risks.  

Conclusion 

Cyber attacks are a real threat, and companies must protect themselves from falling victim to hackers. SMBs are particularly susceptible as they often lack the relevant finances to employ a cybersecurity team. This can be detrimental to SMBs, as sophisticated cyber attacks may impact their reputation or be costly to rectify. Luckily, AI is here to help. AI-powered cybersecurity solutions scour vast amounts of data for abnormal behavior and malicious content, thus enhancing efficiency and boosting productivity for SMBs. The Acer TravelMate P series with integrated Intel vPro® protection safeguards SMBs from potential cyber-attacks so employees can focus on doing what they do best.

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Jeni is a translator and writer based in Taiwan. She is passionate about business development and loves helping companies enter international markets. She is fluent in English, German, and Mandarin Chinese, and combines these with her industry experience to provide practical market entry solutions.

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