Businesses recognize the need for AI & ML tools in cybersecurity

71 percent of businesses surveyed in the United States plan to use more artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) in their cybersecurity tools this year, although over half (58%) aren’t sure what that technology really does, according to Webroot.

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Although over one-third (36%) of organizations experienced a damaging cyberattack within the last year, the majority is still extremely confident (83%) they have all the tools they need to successfully defend themselves against criminals using AI/ML-based threats.

While 71 percent of businesses plan to spend more budget on AI/ML tools in 2019, only 49 percent of IT professionals feel extremely comfortable using these tools. This presents a clear disconnect and supports the need for further education, or outsourced support from skilled experts, particularly when 86 percent of IT professionals agree that cybercriminals are also leveraging AI/ML in their attacks.

Key findings from U.S. respondents:

  • 86% believe cybercriminals are using AI/ML to attack organizations
  • 76% do not care if their protection uses AI/ML as long as it keeps them safe from cybercriminals
  • Yet 70% say it is very important that cybersecurity advertising mention use of AI or ML
  • 71% of IT professionals report their business plans to use more AI/ML tools in 2019
  • Yet only 49% of IT professionals feel extremely comfortable using AI/ML tools.

ai ml tools cybersecurity

“AI and ML continue to present a troubling knowledge gap, particularly given the amount of confusing hype in the cybersecurity industry. A company cannot properly defend against advanced AI and ML attacks when less than half of its IT professionals are comfortable using the tools needed to defend against those attacks. To level the playing field, organizations need to partner with vendors that have the historical data and skilled staff required to deliver the highest level of efficacy and automation to their customers. And even though 70 percent of professionals in the survey say it’s very important that vendors mention the use of AI and ML in their advertising, advertisements should be validated by quality data,” said Hal Lonas, CTO, Webroot.