AI security solutions are popular with executives -- but are they really working?

AI security

According to a new study released by ProtectWise, AI has already established a strong foothold in the security space, with 73 percent of respondents reporting that they have implemented security solutions that incorporate at least some aspect of AI.

Most organizations cite AI's ability to improve the efficiency of security staff members and make investigation of alerts faster as top priorities.

But it's executives, not the people who manage security, who are the biggest advocates for AI. 55 percent of respondents say that the strongest advocates for AI-based security products in their organization are IT executives, while 38 percent say non-IT executives as the biggest internal champion.

"The marketing of AI is extremely effective," says Gene Stevens CTO and co-founder of ProtectWise. "The reality is executives are dealing with resource constraints and are looking for automation. They are not necessarily believing in the mythology of a 'silver bullet' they are just hoping for something new that they have not purchased before that can give their team an opportunity to scale and to catch things they might have missed."

AI-enabled security products are delivering mixed results in the real world too. According to respondents AI-enabled security solutions have significantly more security alerts and false positives on a typical day. 46 percent agree that rules creation and implementation are a burden, and 25 percent said that they don't plan to implement additional AI-enabled security solutions in the future as a result of their experience.

Overall the report suggests that there is still work to do. More than half of all respondents believe that AI doesn’t stop zero-days and advanced threats (61 percent), it delivers inaccurate results (54 percent), it’s difficult to use (42 percent), and it's expensive (71 percent).

"You have to be good at the knowns but you also have to have some robustness against the unknowns," adds Stevens. "Artificial intelligence helps us a lot with the unknowns and it also helps with the kind of scale teams need. But there's a tremendous amount of work that still needs to be done, it's not mature. It will become a part of all security solutions but we're at the early adoption stage."

You can read more in the full report available from the ProtectWise website.

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