IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

4 Ways AI-Powered Automation Boosts Cyber Resilience

From strengthening public safety to improving staff morale and productivity, combining artificial intelligence with automation is an effective way to bolster cybersecurity for state and local government agencies.

illustration of a robot hand reaching through a laptop screen to put a finger on the touchpad
Shutterstock/Andrey Suslov
Data has become increasingly accessible, but it is also now harder to protect.

Cyber attacks and data breaches can significantly impact organizations by exposing sensitive data and leaking personal information, leaving victims and organizations vulnerable and susceptible to extortion. The MOVEit hack is a prime example of the long-term damaging effects caused by cyber attacks. Several months after the MOVEit cyber attacks, repercussions are still being felt across state and local governments. The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles and the Oregon Department of Transportation recently reported 9 million compromised records. Meanwhile, one of the data servers at the Minnesota Department of Education reportedly experienced a new data breach resulting in stolen data on 95,000 foster care children throughout the state.

As organizations including state and local agencies manage more data, they are more susceptible to falling victim to cyber attacks. However, public-sector agencies can incorporate artificial intelligence and automation to strengthen their cyber resilience. Combining these two emerging technologies detects and prevents cyber attacks by recognizing suspicious behavior patterns. For example, AI-powered automation can pinpoint network vulnerabilities before cyber criminals gain access.

Additionally, state and local agencies should also leverage AI-powered automation to streamline routine tasks, such as system monitoring, log analysis and threat detection. This strategy improves efficiency and accuracy, and proactively identifies and addresses security weaknesses via vulnerability scanning and patch management processes.


Statistics show 2,200 cyber attacks occur every 39 seconds daily. AI and automation can identify and prevent attacks from escalating in their early stages. This tool enables state and local security teams to rapidly identify and resolve issues while freeing them up to focus on more impactful tasks.

Meanwhile, zero trust is emerging as a standard security framework across state and local agencies. The core concept behind the zero-trust security model is that users and devices should not be trusted by default, even if they have access to authorized networks and have been verified before. AI-powered automation is essential to building zero-trust frameworks that can reduce the time to verify trust, quickly develop and make policy changes, and improve the security posture of state and local agencies.


Traditional antivirus and malware detection tools use signatures or indicators of compromise to identify and detect previously known threats. With the ever-changing threat landscape, state and local security teams must deploy technology that finds undetected threats.

To that end, state and local security teams can integrate behavioral analysis into their threat-hunting process by applying AI, machine learning (ML) and automation capabilities. AI/ML techniques like user and event behavioral analytics (UEBA) can analyze the baseline behavior of user accounts, endpoints and servers and help identify abnormal behavior that might signal a zero-day unknown attack. Combined with traditional antivirus techniques, security teams will have a more comprehensive detection approach with AI and automation while reducing false positives.

Furthermore, AI-powered automation easily integrates with existing security tools and legacy technology to streamline incident response and enforce security policies and compliance measures. Using event-driven automation capabilities, an AI-powered platform can be triggered from the endpoint detection and response (EDR) or extended detection and response (XDR) platform, security information and event management system (SIEM), or other security monitoring tools.


According to a 2022 Deloitte-National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Cybersecurity Study, the shortage of cybersecurity professionals remains the second most significant barrier to addressing state and local cybersecurity requirements. Only legacy IT infrastructure challenges and the need for solutions to support emerging threats ranked higher.

To solve these challenges, AI and automation offer the public-sector workforce intelligent self-service and digital assistants to handle repetitive cyber tasks. An AI-powered automation platform assists cybersecurity teams in defining and enforcing security rules and policies for their network infrastructures, scanning for threats and monitoring vulnerabilities, performing continuous security audits, and tracking access control to critical assets and resources.

Moreover, AI and automation can run unattended in the background during staff shortages and turnover, handling task-heavy and long-running processes. This will lighten the workload of overworked state and local IT and cybersecurity teams.


The MOVEit hack highlights the urgent need for state and local governments to strengthen cyber resilience. State and local agencies can take a proactive approach to secure their networks by using AI-powered automation for early detection of cyber threats. Doing so will bolster their defenses against the ever-growing threat of sophisticated cyber attacks, protecting critical state and local infrastructure and improving public safety.

Todd Schroeder is vice president of public sector at UiPath.