Here's what telecom readers should know about Microsoft Copilot for Security

  • Microsoft’s new Copilot for Security will be available on April 1

  • The company says it’s the "first" generative AI solution for security and IT professionals, but there are many other chatbots in the market

  • We looked into what makes Copilot special

Make room for another generative AI (GenAI) chatbot because Microsoft is readying for the April 1 launch of its new Microsoft Copilot for Security — and we don't think it's an April Fool's joke.

The company said Copilot will be available in a standalone portal and also embedded in existing security products from the company. However, dear reader, you may be asking yourself: What the heck is Microsoft Copilot and what's the difference between all the other GenAI chatbots?

Perhaps a little background on the difference between GenAI chatbots is in order so, here goes.

  1. OpenAI’s ChatGPT went viral in November 2022 when regular people like us were allowed to ask the chatbot questions, and there was a global “duhhh” moment when everyone suddenly realized the power of GenAI.
  2. In January 2023, Microsoft announced a $10 billion investment in OpenAI and also confirmed that Microsoft Azure would continue as the exclusive cloud provider for ChatGPT.
  3. Separately (and this is where it gets confusing) in February 2023, Microsoft launched Copilot, which is its own in-house chatbot, based on large language models (LLMs). Copilot comes in a variety of flavors, designed to support Microsoft 365 applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams.

We asked Copilot to explain itself

To get the low down, we went to the free version of the Copilot website and asked the GenAI to describe itself, and the results were decidedly underwhelming — and clearly its LLM needs some tooling on sounding more normal because our eyes crossed about one sentence in.

Here's what happened:

Fierce: Describe the history of Copilot.

Copilot: Certainly! The history of Copilot is quite fascinating. Let’s delve into it:

GitHub Copilot was initially introduced in October 2021 by GitHub (owned by Microsoft) and OpenAI. It’s a code completion tool that assists developers by autocompleting code in various integrated development environments (IDEs) such as Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio, Neovim, and JetBrains.

It uses OpenAI Codex, which is a modified version of the Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3), a powerful language model.

GitHub Copilot can generate solution code based on natural language programming problems, translate code between languages, and even describe input code in English. Notably, it works best for languages like Python, JavaScript, TypeScript, Ruby, and Go. Over time, GitHub continued to enhance Copilot, adding features and expanding its capabilities.

... (Ed. note: Copilot was droning on so we edited for brevity.)

Microsoft Copilot: On February 7, 2023, Microsoft Copilot was launched as Bing Chat, integrated into Microsoft Bing and Microsoft Edge.

It’s based on a large language model and serves as Microsoft’s primary replacement for the discontinued Cortana. Beyond code completion, Microsoft Copilot can also create poems, write lyrics and music using its Suno AI plugin

In summary, Copilot has come a long way since its inception in June 2021, and it continues to evolve, making coding more efficient and enjoyable for developers! 🚀👩‍💻

Um, ok. Thanks Copilot. Nice use of emojis, though!

We asked the free version of ChatGPT 3.5 the same question, but it's explanation was similar so we won't recount it for you here.

Perhaps the paid versions of these chatbots are more robust? (Serious question on our part.)

Interestingly, Wikipedia, which is free and moderated by human beings and based on reporting done by human beings, gave a far superior description of the history of Copilot. Of course, that’s all likely to change as the chatbot models become more well-trained over time.

Leave it to the professionals

But back to Microsoft Copilot for Security. Microsoft says it’s the first GenAI solution for security and IT professionals — and according to what we heard at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year, GenAI is going to be bang-on perfect for detecting anomalies, which can be helpful for security teams.

According to Microsoft, Copilot is trained on more than 78 trillion security signals processed by the software giant each day — and it's coupled with LLMs to deliver tailored insights and guide next steps for security issues.

“The LLMs used for Microsoft 365 Copilot are hosted in the Microsoft Cloud and are not trained on your organizational data,” states the company. “Copilot automatically inherits your organization’s security, compliance and privacy policies set in Microsoft 365.”

Microsoft is also introducing a pay-as-you-go licensing model for Copilot for Security so that companies can start using it quickly, then scale their usage and costs according to their needs and budget.

Our conclusion (written by a human): It's fun to test chatbots. But since we don't have the paid version of Microsoft's Copilot and we aren't in the middle of solving a security breach, we probably haven't proved its full worth. This is definitely a nascent technology for security and IT teams.