AI has the potential to greatly enhance productivity and streamline operations for businesses. However, in the wrong hands, built-in AI solutions can present organisations with an array of security risks.

The risks associated with AI for businesses

With the vast amount of sensitive information processed and stored by AI systems, there is an increased vulnerability to cyber attacks. By failing to accurately configure AI into your systems, hackers may exploit weaknesses in AI algorithms or systems to gain unauthorised access to confidential data such as financial reports, legal documents, and leaver information.

One AI tool in particular that has gained significant attention is Microsoft Copilot. While Copilot offers numerous benefits, it is crucial to be aware of the potential dangers associated with its use. In this blog, we will explore the risks and strategies for safely implementing Copilot.

What is Microsoft Copilot?

Microsoft Copilot is a suite of AI-powered tools integrated into various Microsoft products designed to assist users by enhancing productivity and improving workflows. Using advanced AI and machine learning models, it provides contextually relevant suggestions, automates routine tasks, and generates content, among other functionalities.

Why is Copilot dangerous in the wrong hands?

Despite its potential benefits, Copilot’s automated suggestions have raised concerns about potential security risks. If not properly configured, Copilot can take information from any part of your cloud environment – financial documents, legal reports, and more. So, any type of information could be accessed with just a simple command, potentially by anyone in your company.

The tool’s ability to generate code quickly and easily can also be exploited by malicious actors. For example, hackers could use Copilot to create malicious code, leading to security breaches and data theft. Also, the widespread adoption of Copilot raises concerns about intellectual property rights and code ownership. As the tool assists developers in generating code snippets and solutions, questions may arise regarding the originality and ownership of the code produced.

Strategies for Safely Implementing Copilot

While it is important to acknowledge the risks associated with Copilot, there are strategies businesses can adopt to mitigate potential dangers:

  • Training and Education: Provide thorough training for developers on using Copilot responsibly and understanding its limitations.
  • Implement Security Measures: Employ robust security measures to safeguard Copilot’s access and prevent unauthorised use.
  • Code Review: Continually review the generated code suggestions from Copilot to identify any potential issues and ensure compliance with legal and ethical standards.
  • Regular Updates: Stay up-to-date with Microsoft’s updates and patches for Copilot to address any potential vulnerabilities or bugs.

In addition, subscribing to Copilot licenses without the correct configuration opens a minefield of security issues. For example, Copilot can pull information from anywhere within that organisation’s Microsoft environment. In response to these pressing security challenges, ARO has also launched Secure+ – a comprehensive Microsoft 365 security solution designed to safeguard and enhance your Microsoft environments. Our Secure+ service goes beyond security, providing license management to help organisations better optimise their Microsoft 365 environments.

By embracing Secure+, organisations benefit from a strategic blend of proactive measures and thorough management to fortify their Microsoft landscape against vulnerabilities.

Sign up to our upcoming webinar on Microsoft Copilot & AI

Stay informed and discover more about the risks and benefits of Microsoft Copilot by signing up for our upcoming webinar AI & You. Our experts will delve deeper into the basics of AI, the capabilities built in Microsoft Copilot and what it can do for your organisation, along with the risks associated with AI and how to integrate it safely into your current systems.

Join us on 13-06-2024 as we kick off the beginning of our webinar series with all things AI. Register now to learn more.