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CommBank adds AI to its cyber crime fighting arsenal

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has enlisted the abilities of artificial intelligence in the fight against cyber crime.

user icon Daniel Croft
Tue, 17 Oct 2023
CommBank adds AI to its cyber crime fighting arsenal
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The major bank announced that it would be adopting generative AI to assist it in analysing online activity, of which there has been an exponential increase in recent years with the move to remote work and the increased time spent online.

“Our cyber security teams monitor all events for any potential threat or suspicious attempt to access, exploit or disrupt the network, which could lead to a cyber security incident such as a data breach or malware being installed,” said CommBank’s Andrew Pade at the bank’s AI and cyber security panel during South by Southwest on Tuesday (17 October).

“Three years ago, CBA’s cyber security team would be hunting for threats across 80 million online activities each week. Last week, my team were scanning 240 billion online activities for threats.”


Scanning online activity for suspicious activity or cyber crime is a tiresome and repetitive process, with every file shared, email sent or personal detail entered qualifying as a “signal” that needs to be analysed.

“When you’re looking for suspicious activity, you want tools that give your teams the capability to monitor as much of your network as possible, which becomes increasingly challenging when signals are increasing at this rate,” Pade said.

“That is why CBA is leveraging the latest developments in AI and machine learning by automatically analysing signals to determine if they require further investigation.”

CommBank has partnered with H2O.ai to develop AI models capable of scanning and analysing online activity on the bank’s network, easing the workload for its cyber teams, who can then spend more time and resources preventing and dealing with incidents.

“Generative AI is the next evolution by providing the potential to take actions based on the results of the automated analysis,” added Pade.

“So instead of looking for a needle in the haystack, AI is helping us find those needles, and we’re able to defend against any malicious activity in the most proactive way possible.

“We have teamed up with experts in AI, and our partnership with H2O.ai has helped us accelerate how we design, build, test, deploy and govern AI models across the group – in every single use case when we build an AI model, it is significantly better than the model or task it replaces.”

Pade said Commbank’s top priority is the safety of its customers and that with the latest weapon in its cyber arsenal, it is committed to the security of its data and the early detection and prevention of cyber threats.

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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