Security pros are cautiously optimistic about AI – Help Net Security

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55% of organizations plan to adopt GenAI solutions within this year, signaling a substantial surge in GenAI integration, according to a Cloud Security Alliance and Google Cloud survey.

AI integration cybersecurity

The survey received 2,486 responses from IT and security professionals. The report indicates that the push behind AI’s adoption can be attributed in large part to C-level executives (82% of respondents indicated executive leadership as being behind the push), who recognize the competitive advantage it offers in the modern business environment.

AI integration in cybersecurity

The study also found that AI integration into cybersecurity is not just a concept but also a practical reality for many, with 67% of respondents stating that they have tested AI specifically for security purposes. As for the ability to leverage AI, 48% of professionals expressed confidence in their organization’s ability to execute a strategy for leveraging AI in security, with 28% feeling reasonably confident and 20% very confident.

Given the nascent stage of GenAI in this field, this level of assurance suggests that many professionals might be optimistic about their preparedness or overlook the intricacies of AI integration.

“The insights shared in this report into how industry experts view and prepare for AI’s evolving role in cybersecurity are pivotal in navigating this transition and ensuring a resilient, forward-looking digital infrastructure,” said Hillary Baron, lead author and Senior Technical Director for Research, Cloud Security Alliance.

“AI is transforming cybersecurity, offering both exciting opportunities and complex challenges. However, the disconnect between the C-suite and staff in understanding and implementing AI highlights the need for a strategic, unified approach to successfully integrate this technology,” said Caleb Sima, chair of CSA’s AI Safety Initiative.

“Once in a generation, we see a chance for profound cybersecurity transformation, not just incremental gains. With generative AI, we have the potential to turn the tables on attackers by 10x’ing the capabilities of defenders. While we need to counter attacker use of AI, it’s even more important to get going on integrating AI into cyber defenses today,” said Phil Venables, CISO, Google Cloud.

C-suite executives surpass staff in AI technology knowledge

63% of respondents believe in AI’s potential to enhance security measures, especially in improving threat detection and response capabilities. However, 34% see AI as more beneficial for security teams, while 31% view it as equally advantageous for both protectors and attackers, and a notable 25% of respondents expressed concerns that AI could be more advantageous to malicious parties.

12% of security professionals believe AI will completely replace their role. The majority believe it will help enhance their skill set (30%), support their role generally (28%), or replace large parts of their role (24%), freeing them up for other tasks.

C-suite executives have different perspectives from their staff when it comes to AI. C-levels demonstrate a notably higher self-reported familiarity with AI technologies than their staff. Moreover, C-levels report having a clearer understanding of potential AI use cases, with 51% feeling very clear about them, compared to just 14% of staff.

55% of organizations are planning to implement security tools and solutions with GenAI and are exploring a diverse range of use cases for these technologies, with the top use cases being rule creation (21%), attack simulation (19%), and compliance violation detection (19%).

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