Businesses plan to use more AI and machine learning in cybersecurity this year -- even though they don't understand it

AI security

The use of more artificial intelligence to improve security has been touted for a while. New research from Webroot reveals that a majority of business are now actively exploring the technology.

It finds 71 percent of businesses surveyed in the United States plan to use more artificial intelligence and machine learning in their cybersecurity tools this year. However, a worrying 58 percent say that aren't sure what that technology really does.

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

Despite the numbers planning to invest, only 49 percent of IT professionals surveyed 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 using AI/ML in their attacks.

"AI and ML continue to present a troubling knowledge gap, particularly given the amount of confusing hype in the cybersecurity industry," says Hal Lonas, CTO at Webroot. "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."

You can get the full report on the Webroot site.

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