AI Copilot

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ARO is an accredited solutions partner with foundational experience in delivering Microsoft's AI offer. We'll help you to harness the transformative power of Artificial Intelligence, empowering non-technical users throughout the business to build the apps they need – exactly how they need them – to work more productively.

Developer tools for non-developers

Imagine if you could simply describe the app you wanted to build, and AI designed it for you. With Copilot, it’s a reality. You can build an app, including the data behind it, just by describing what you need. AI Copilot uses natural language processing to support AI-assisted coding within an integrated development environment.

With its ability to learn from user behaviours, adapt to their needs, and offer real-time insights and contextually relevant suggestions, AI Copilot provides constant guidance, code suggestions and improvements to achieve automation and workflow efficiency. By automating and optimising business processes, users can work more efficiently and cost-effectively, with data analytics informing decision making to drive better outcomes. 

Realising the AI opportunity

ARO has been helping customers to ride the wave of digital innovation for over 25 years, and today we’re at the forefront of AI-powered software development. We work with you to understand how AI Coplot can complement your current business processes by assessing your needs, developing AI models, integrating them into systems, ensuring security, and providing ongoing support and technical updates.

ARO’s Highly skilled and qualified architects are accredited in five of the six Microsoft Solutions Partner designations, and we invest constantly in maintaining and updating their skills in the latest technologies.

Programming language on a screen

AI is not the future, it's the present. And with AI Copilot, ARO is already enabling businesses to break out of the constraints of limited development resources by empowering end users to solve their own business problems by building key software and applications tailored to their needs.   

AI Copilot is an AI-powered feature with a conversational interface and LLMs (large language models).

By using LLMs, AI Copilots possess the ability to understand, process, and analyse large amounts of data. It assists users in various tasks and decision-making processes across multiple domains within an enterprise environment.

AI Copilot is not a standalone feature within Office 365. However, you can access it separately as a powerful AI companion. It is designed to enhance productivity and creativity across Microsoft’s productivity applications, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

The benefits of using AI Copilot includes automating repetitive tasks, offering intelligent suggestions, facilitating efficient knowledge sharing, enabling data-driven decision-making, and faster iteration.

AI copilots are made up of two essential components: artificial intelligence and integrations across systems. AI algorithms applied in natural language processing, context understanding, and machine learning enable copilots to predict user needs and provide informed suggestions. Through integrations, AI copilots can interact with a vast range of systems, creating a unified, interconnected platform for seamless communication and task management.

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With the rise of remote and hybrid workers, more and more people are relying on their mobile devices to access and respond to work emails. While this may offer convenience and flexibility, it also comes with its own set of risks.

In this blog, we will explore the specific risks associated with navigating email on mobile devices and how to reduce those risks.

The Technological Risks of Email on Mobile Devices

As employees split their time between the office and home/remote locations, the use of personal mobile devices for work-related tasks, such as email communication, has become more common. Although this allows for increased productivity and connectivity, it also opens up new avenues for potential threats and security vulnerabilities.

Using devices for both personal and professional purposes blurs the line between personal and corporate information. This raises concerns about data leakage, as sensitive work-related information could be inadvertently shared outside the organisation. Plus, as employees are able to access company networks and sensitive information from various locations and devices, the attack surface for malicious actors increases significantly.

Additionally, personal devices may lack the same level of security controls and updates as company-provided devices, putting sensitive data at risk. Employees may unknowingly download malware or click on malicious links, compromising the security of their email accounts and potentially exposing corporate networks and data.

Rushed Replies, Small Screens and Email Blunders

Emailing on mobile devices often leads to rushed replies and the potential for communication blunders. The small screen sizes and limited keyboards dramatically increase the likelihood of typographical errors that result in the wrong information being shared. This could be anything from choosing the wrong recipient in a drop-down menu, attaching the wrong file, or accidentally selecting ‘reply all’. Although these are minor mistakes, the consequences can be severe.

Spear-phishing attacks in particular are a major risk when using mobile devices for email. As mobiles typically display the sender’s name rather than the entire email, it is more difficult to identify anomalies in the domain or subdomain. Plus, as many successful data breaches start from some type of spear-phishing attack, anything that increases the success rate of these attacks poses a serious threat to your business’ data security.

Emerging Mobile Threats in 2024

70% of UK office workers use mobile devices for work and continue to use multiple communication channels, including SMS. However, with employees using multiple communication channels, it is unsurprising that there has been a significant rise in multi-channel attacks.

After an initial phishing email sent to the victim, SMS was the third most common next step, accounting for 18.6% of multi-channel attacks. This is down to a few reasons. One being its high accessibility. Mobile numbers can be easily obtained through a wide availability of options such as out-of-office replies, open-source intelligence searches, and even email signatures, making it simple to target victims through SMS. Another reason is that mobile devices generally have lower security measures than desktop computers. SMS, in particular, lacks the robust security protocols needed to protect individuals against phishing attacks.

Balancing Convenience and Risk

Mobile devices enable employees to stay connected and respond to work emails regardless of their location, increasing flexibility and productivity. However, it is essential to strike a balance between convenience and risk management.

Issues such as small screens and increased vulnerability to spear-phishing attacks make mobile devices a potential weak link in an organisation’s security. To stay ahead of these threats, organisations should provide regular training and awareness programs to educate employees about the latest mobile security threats and best practices for staying safe while accessing email on their mobile devices. Plus, implementing intelligent email security tools can help further reduce these risks.

Egress Intelligent Email Security platform

One effective solution to mitigate the risks associated with navigating email on mobile devices is Egress’ Intelligent Email Security platform.

Integrating Microsoft 365 with Egress Defend and Egress Prevent offers robust protection against various email threats, including phishing attacks, data leakage, and accidental emailing to the wrong recipients. These models use advanced AI to detect threats and provide real-time alerts to users before a cyber attacks can occur.

Egress Defend uses pre-generative and zero-trust models, along with linguistic, contextual, and behavioural analysis to detect advanced inbound threats such as spear-phishing attempts. Additionally, Egress Prevent uses contextual machine learning and pre-trained deep neural networks to identify abnormal sending behaviour to stop emails and attachments from being sent to unauthorised recipients.

While using mobile devices for email navigation offers convenience and flexibility, it also exposes individuals and organisations to various risks. To mitigate these risks, it is essential to address both human and technological vulnerabilities, regularly update devices and applications, practice secure email habits, and consider utilising advanced email security platforms like Egress Intelligent Email Security. Discover more about Egress on our website or harness ARO’s Egress expertise to add a more proactive layer to your data security and threat detection.

In 2023, 347 cyber incidents were reported in the education and childcare sector in 2023 – an increase of 55% since 2022. Additionally, government data suggests that most schools and colleges have experienced a data breach in the past year alone.

Recently, The Billericay School in Essex suffered a data breach during the school holidays – a prime time for cyber criminals as IT support and security measures are reduced. In a letter to parents, head teacher Patrick Berry said the attack occurred even though they had “industry standard firewalls, firmware and malware security” in place. He also said “This attack has resulted in all of the school IT system being compromised and inaccessible by a complex encryption.”

In this blog we will discuss the different types of data breaches schools are vulnerable to and the solutions available to prevent them.

Cyber security in the Education Sector

Schools are particularly responsible for the data they hold, for safeguarding as well as GDPR reasons. Any information relating to pupils must be out of reach for any attackers and protected against any interference or manipulation. Plus, with the increased focus on digitalisation of the education sector, cyber security and reducing cybercrime in schools should be high up on the list for all education institutions. However, stretched school budgets limit how much schools can invest in cyber-security defences, with most of the budget being used for educational purposes. Fortunately, a DfE spokesperson said the government was increasing school funding to “the highest level ever in real terms per pupil, to support school leaders to meet their costs”.

Types of Data Breaches in Schools

According to IT Governance’s report, ransomware was the most common cause of data breaches among schools in 2022, accounting for 41% of all incidents. Another common cause of data breaches in schools is the accidental exposure of sensitive information due to misconfigured databases, unsecured servers, or human error. Other causes of data breaches include:

  • Phishing Attacks: Fraudulent emails or messages that trick staff and students into providing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links.
  • Malware: Malicious software installed on school networks or devices, leading to unauthorised access or data damage.
  • Unauthorised Access: Gaining access to systems or data without proper authorisation, often due to weak passwords or inadequate access controls.
  • DDoS Attacks (Distributed Denial of Service): Overloading a school’s network with traffic, causing disruptions and potentially masking other malicious activities.

Each of these breaches poses significant risks to the security and privacy of student and staff data, making it crucial for schools to implement robust cybersecurity measures.

Solutions

ARO offers managed cyber security services along with a comprehensive package of Barracuda cybersecurity solutions, designed to protect students, faculty, and staff in educational institutions. These solutions cover everything from network security and email security to application security and data protection to help schools create a safe computing environment for learning and collaboration.

Barracuda’s award-winning security solutions defend against account takeover, email compromise, phishing, and malicious email attachments, safeguarding budgets, sensitive data, and classroom time. Plus, with these solutions managed by ARO, schools can move forwards, confident that they are well-prepared for any and all cyber threats that come their way.

Barracuda Email Protection

Over 90% of cyber attacks start with phishing emails. With Barracuda Email Protection, schools can secure their email by stopping attacks before they reach their inbox, recovering data after an attack, and even training users on phishing defence. This particular solution provides everything schools need to protect against all 13 email threat types. Additionally, Barracuda is licensed by your FTE count, so all your students are covered for free.

Barracuda Network Protection

Barracuda’s Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) technologies allow schools to provide access to online resources while protecting users from attacks that steal data or install malware on their devices. This is achieved through web security and filtering. Also, this cloud-native SASE platform enables businesses to control access to data from any device, anytime, anywhere.

ARO has achieved multiple Barracuda Partner awards, including EMEA Partner of the Year 2022, UK Partner of the Year 2020, and EMEA Partner of the Year 2019. These certifications reflect our experience across the Barracuda solution suite and ensure that your digital infrastructure is in safe hands. Get in touch with our team of cyber security experts to fortify your defences today or take a look at our Barracuda product page for more information

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