The majority of C-Suite executives and policy makers in the United States believe investing in security software, infrastructure and emerging technologies is critical to protecting U.S. data from growing cybersecurity risks, according to a new survey.
Asked what would make the U.S. government better equipped to secure data, 51 percent of C-Suite executives and 62 percent of policy makers cite investing in IT/security infrastructure; 59 percent of the C-Suite and 60 percent of policy makers cite investing in security software.
When it comes to their own security investments over the next 24 months, 44 percent of C-Suite executives and 33 percent of policy makers plan to purchase new software with enhanced security; and 37 percent and 25 percent, respectively, plan to invest in new infrastructure solutions to improve security.
The report, “Security in the Age of AI” detailing the views and actions of C-Suite executives, policy makers and the general public related to cybersecurity and data protection, was released by Oracle.
In addition, both C-Suite executives and policy makers rank human error as the top cybersecurity risk for their organizations. However, in the next two years, they are choosing to invest more in people—via training and hiring—than in technology, such as new types of software, infrastructure, and artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), which is essential to advancing security and significantly minimizing human error.
Only 38 percent of C-Suite executives and 26 percent of policy makers plan to invest in AI and ML to improve security in the next 24 months.
“We are at a critical juncture in our cybersecurity journey, as more decision makers in the public and private sector recognize the benefits of investing in next-generation technology designed for security to make progress on addressing previously intractable threats, instead of relying solely on people or legacy technology,” said Edward Screven, Chief Corporate Architect at Oracle.
“That said, there is a delta between what C-Suite executives and policy makers think is best for America’s cyber future and the actions they are taking for their own organizations, indicating a greater need for business and government to understand how and why next generation technologies are so critical for their own cyber defenses.”
Queried about what their organization has done over the past five years to improve security, both C-Suite executives and policy makers said they had upgraded existing software (60 percent and 52 percent respectively) and trained existing staff (57 percent and 50 percent respectively).
Just over half (54 percent) of C-Suite executives and 41 percent of policy makers have purchased new software with enhanced security features, with 40 percent of C-Suite executives and 27 percent of policy makers having invested in new infrastructure solutions.
Technology industry faces great threats and responsibilities
As for what they perceived to be the greatest security threat to the technology industry, attacks by foreign governments was ranked highest by respondents (C-Suite 30 percent; policy makers 37 percent).
Seventy-eight percent of C-Suite executives, 75 percent of policy makers and 64 percent of the general public believe the technology industry is well equipped to protect data. Additionally, 79 percent of C-Suite executives and policy makers, and 64 percent of the general public trust the technology industry to behave responsibly and in the best interests of the American public, as it relates to data security.
Interestingly, only one in three C-Suite executives (34 percent) and policy makers (32 percent) think it is the government’s responsibility to protect consumer data, highlighting the critical role that the technology sector has to play in keeping U.S. data protected.
“While the government has an important role to play in keeping America’s data safe, today’s increasingly dangerous cybersecurity landscape means it can’t be expected to out-innovate attackers on its own. That’s our job,” said Screven.
“The U.S. government and businesses will need to rely on the technology sector more to advance the nation’s cyber defense. We can build data centers, hire talent and secure data at scale more efficiently than any one individual customer can.”
Artificial intelligence and its impact on security
Only 33 percent of C-Suite executives and 20 percent of policy makers adopt and implement AI and ML to its fullest potential, yet they strongly believe autonomous technologies powered by AI and ML will improve the way they protect and defend against security threats.
In addition to benefiting the state of data security in the U.S., the majority of C-Suite executives (88 percent), policy makers (89 percent) and the general public (77 percent) believe autonomous technologies will also positively impact the U.S. economy, with “increased productivity” cited as the top benefit.