Enhancing Email Security with AI and Human Insights

The prominence of artificial intelligence (AI) in cyberattacks is a growing concern, with cybercriminals leveraging advanced methods to exploit email vulnerabilities. According to IRONSCALES and Osterman Research, specialized email security vendors are now utilizing a combination of AI and human insights to strengthen email security defenses.

The use of AI by cybercriminals in email attacks has seen a significant uptick in recent years and is predicted to escalate even further. A staggering 74% of respondents have reported an increase in AI usage by cybercriminals over the past six months. Around 85% of security leaders surveyed believe that AI will be employed to bypass existing email security technologies.

Email security has become a top priority for 77% of organizations, as evidenced by the growing adoption of AI-enabled email security solutions. Nine out of ten organizations have deployed AI-powered email security solutions to supplement their existing cloud email provider’s offerings. The report highlights the dual role of AI in preserving and enhancing detection efficacy. In fact, 42% of organizations have maintained their previous detection standards, while 35% have experienced an improved baseline due to AI implementation.

AI proves to be a vital tool in defending against evolving threats and strengthening existing security layers. However, human insights remain indispensable in comprehensive cybersecurity. Recognizing this, organizations prioritize factors such as ease of reporting suspicious emails and presentation of results in their buying decisions. Employees play a crucial role in enabling effective responses, and organizations are combining AI with human feedback to train machine learning models. This approach enables AI to learn from human experiences, enhance contextual understanding, and refine threat detection.

IRONSACLES CEO, Eyal Benishti, emphasizes the importance of continuous evolution in AI-enabled defenses. With the rapid emergence and evolution of AI-enabled threats, static AI models trained on outdated intelligence are no longer sufficient. Adaptive AI, capable of continually learning from and adapting to end-user feedback and data, is essential to staying ahead of the latest threats.

This report underscores the urgency for organizations to reevaluate their approach to email security. Legacy solutions like Secure Email Gateways (SEGs) pose significant risks in the face of increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. Incorporating AI-enabled solutions that work alongside regular phishing simulation testing and security awareness training is crucial. Employees should be part of the solution rather than considered liabilities.