In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, organizations are facing a shortage of skilled professionals to defend against the growing number of cyber-attacks. Traditional approaches to closing this skills gap, such as hiring and training more people, are not sufficient to meet the demand. However, generative AI, a distinct form of artificial intelligence, can provide valuable assistance in the short, medium, and long term.
The statistics paint a stark reality: the estimated total damage inflicted by cybercriminals is projected to reach $8 trillion by 2023, and there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally in the same year. Most organizations have a reactive rather than proactive approach to cybersecurity, with an average cybersecurity maturity level of 2.2 out of 5. Additionally, 72% of IT and cybersecurity professionals use spreadsheets to manage security hygiene efforts.
Generative AI tools, like ChatGPT, can quickly provide information and answers to queries, enhancing the understanding of cybersecurity topics. These tools can be particularly helpful for junior-level security team members who need guidance and support from their more experienced peers. By using AI as a non-judging helpmate, junior staff members can become more valuable to their organization’s cybersecurity efforts.
For advanced cybersecurity professionals, AI tools can expedite the analysis process by providing concise answers and relevant information. However, it is essential for these tools to have access to specific data sources that contain up-to-date information on cybersecurity threats. Contextual relevance is crucial, as cybersecurity teams only need to know about threats that could impact their organizations.
In the mid-term, organizations can develop their own AI tools using open-source solutions. This allows companies to focus on the data they need and leverage their accumulated knowledge of cybersecurity threats and responses. However, creating and maintaining these tools require specialized employees, such as data scientists and engineers, to ensure their effectiveness.
In the long term, AI-powered autonomous agents will play a vital role in relieving security teams of repetitive tasks and overload. These agents can triage alerts, respond to specific events, and perform other functions where an autonomous response is appropriate. However, human decision-making will always be critical in the cybersecurity field, as the threat environment becomes more complex and sensitive data needs protection.
Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) can benefit from AI tools by enhancing their team’s capabilities and efficiency. AI-driven solutions, like Cybersixgill IQ, can accelerate processes, improve workflows, and make teams up to 10 times more effective. It is crucial for CISOs to explore AI tools that align with their organization’s needs and readiness.
While the timeline for reaching the mid-term and long-term levels of AI implementation remains uncertain, the field is advancing rapidly. Organizations should stay informed about generative AI and its potential benefits for cybersecurity. By leveraging AI tools, organizations can better equip their teams to defend against cyber threats and mitigate risks effectively.