81 percent of SMEs think AI is crucial to cyber security

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New research from threat detection specialist Senseon looking at the state of cyber security in SMEs reveals increasing uncertainty about whether the investment into the security solutions they’re currently using is worth the cost.

The survey also reveals that SMEs have been slow to implement AI solutions, despite the vast majority of SMEs surveyed (81 percent) thinking that AI will be fundamental to the future of cyber security.

Although 88 percent of SMEs do have a dedicated security budget, more than half (53 percent) think increased budget would help them deal with their cyber security workload. However, budgetary constraints are impacting the adoption of new technologies, like AI, among SMEs. 52 percent say the cost of AI-based solutions is the greatest hurdle to their adoption.

"There is a common misconception that an increased number of security tools equals better protection," David Atkinson, CEO and founder of Senseon, says. "With almost 25 percent of SMEs having between 11 and 20 different tools in their security stack, and the survey indicating that security professionals within these businesses are struggling with workload, it’s no surprise that SMEs are becoming an increasingly common target for hackers. Issues within SMEs surrounding security are centred around stringent budgets, and frantic adoption of more and more tools is likely resulting in needless costs for the businesses."

Among other findings are that 69 percent of SMEs are looking to implement AI security solutions in the next five years, with 44 percent planning to invest in AI/ML defence in the immediate future. 76 percent of respondents agree that AI has the capacity to improve the efficiency of their day-to-day jobs, and 81 percent say that AI will be able to improve the security posture of their organisations.

"No matter what the maturity of a business or indeed the maturity of its security stack, it is vital that C-suite, IT and security teams rationalise their existing technologies and look to prove a strong return on investment as well as protecting the business," adds Atkinson. "Ultimately, the cost of AI solutions is countered by its ability to automate the detection of threats and to augment the role of security analysts, which saves security teams valuable time by separating the signal from the noise and flagging the genuinely malicious threats."

The full report is available from the Senseon website.

Photo credit: jijomathaidesigners / Shutterstock

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