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A recent study reveals that 76% of professionals in the field predict an imminent rise of malicious AI capable of evading established cybersecurity measures, as per findings from Enea.
Of those surveyed, 26% anticipate such threats emerging within the upcoming year, with another 50% foreseeing it within a five-year timeframe.
The concern isn’t just about offensive AI outstripping defensive AI. An alarming 77% of the experts are deeply troubled by the potential of rogue AI. This refers to AI systems that diverge from their set goals, exhibiting unpredictable and potentially harmful behavior.
Top threats expected to be amplified by AI include phishing, social engineering, and malware. However, challenges such as identity fraud, breaches in data privacy, and DDoS attacks were also mentioned as becoming increasingly effective due to AI.
Despite these concerns, the sentiment towards AI’s role in cybersecurity remains largely positive. The respondents believe that AI will enhance threat detection, vulnerability assessments, and especially intrusion detection and prevention. Nearly half, 48%, see deep learning as especially promising for identifying malware in encrypted traffic.
The primary performance indicator for AI-enhanced defenses is expected to be cost savings. A notable 72% see a significant role for AI in addressing the challenges of finding skilled cybersecurity professionals.
While 61% of organizations haven’t yet significantly incorporated AI into their cybersecurity strategies, 41% view AI as of paramount importance. An optimistic 68% expect a surge in budget allocation for AI-related initiatives within the coming two years.
Half of the cybersecurity heads assert their organizations possess “extensive knowledge” about AI/ML’s role in cybersecurity. Another 19% claim “moderate knowledge.” To bolster preparations against sophisticated AI threats, 68% advocate for enhanced cybersecurity training for employees.
Close on the heels of this suggestion, 65% emphasize the importance of AI-specific incident response plans. Moreover, 61% advocate for consistent security assessments and reviews. A majority highlight the necessity of reinforcing conventional security measures such as multi-factor authentication, next-generation firewalls, and threat intelligence to counteract potential AI threats.
Laura Wilber, a Senior Industry Analyst at Enea, emphasizes the importance of grasping the profound influence of AI on cybersecurity. By paying heed to the insights and expectations of those leading the charge against threats, organizations can adapt accordingly. The findings underscore the dual nature of AI—while there’s a mounting unease over its malicious uses, it’s concurrently ushering in novel defense methodologies. For businesses, the key lies in a comprehensive and judicious adoption of AI techniques to ensure optimal preparedness and resilience.