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Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity (2023 Report)


The rise of AI, particularly with the introduction of ChatGPT and other generative AI tools, has brought it into the spotlight across various industries, including cybersecurity. The question now arises whether AI will truly transform cybersecurity or if it is simply caught up in the latest technology hype cycle. To gain insights into this matter, Cybersecurity Insiders surveyed its information security community, consisting of 600,000 members, including CISOs and frontline cybersecurity teams. The goal was to understand their thoughts on AI’s current and potential impact on their profession and determine the current AI maturity level of organizations based on various factors. The survey revealed that cybersecurity professionals believe in the transformative power of AI, with 92% expecting a major or moderate impact on the industry in the coming years. They also expressed ambitious plans to bridge gaps in their AI maturity level. Key findings include fears, hopes, and plans related to AI. Phishing and social engineering were identified as top concerns, with respondents believing that AI will make these attacks more dangerous. The majority also expressed concerns about rogue AI and the belief that offensive AI will outpace defensive AI. On the hopeful side, better threat detection and vulnerability assessments were identified as the most desired AI benefits, with intrusion detection and prevention expected to benefit the most from AI. Cost savings were ranked as the top key performance indicator for measuring AI success. Adoption of AI in cybersecurity is still at an early stage for many organizations, with anomaly detection and network monitoring being the leading AI/ML-enhanced functions. Budget increases are anticipated by 68% of respondents, with 41% considering AI a high or top priority. A panel discussion on the survey findings is also available for further insights. The survey was supported by Enea, Arista Networks, and Zscaler, with special gratitude to Enea for their contribution. The survey highlights concerns about AI making cyber attacks more dangerous, the race between offensive and defensive AI, the potential for quasi-unstoppable malicious AI, and the fear of rogue AI. On the positive side, respondents anticipate improved threat detection, vulnerability assessment, and accelerated incident response as the main benefits of AI in cybersecurity. Intrusion detection and prevention are expected to be the domains that benefit most from AI. It is crucial for organizations to proactively address these concerns and leverage AI-assisted tools and strategies to strengthen their defense against emerging AI-enabled cyber threats.

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