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Jun 25 2024 | by Muhammed Mobin

The State of AI in Cybersecurity: Navigating the Evolving Threat Landscape in 2024 (Part 2)

Continuing our exploration from the previous blog, “The State of AI in Cybersecurity: Unveiling Global Insights from 1,800 Security Practitioners,” we at Novigo Solutions delve deeper into the impact of AI on the cyber threat landscape. This blog highlights the changing difficulties organizations encounter, the increasing need for skilled professionals, and the necessity for comprehensive security solutions, as indicated by data from Darktrace’s State of AI Cybersecurity Report. 

Understanding the AI Cybersecurity Report 

The report, derived from a survey of 1,800 CISOs, security leaders, administrators, and practitioners worldwide, aims to understand how organizations manage the adoption of new AI-powered offensive and defensive cybersecurity technologies. 

Are organizations experiencing the effects of AI-driven cyber threats? 

According to Darktrace’s findings, nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents acknowledge that AI-powered threats are now a significant issue. Moreover, almost nine in ten (89%) believe that AI-powered threats will remain a major challenge for the foreseeable future, not just in the next one to two years. 

Interestingly, only a slight majority (56%) perceive AI-powered threats as distinct from traditional, non-AI-powered threats. This could be due to the difficulty in reliably identifying whether an attack is AI-powered. AI can impact every stage of the attack lifecycle, requiring defenders to prepare for increasingly sophisticated and rapidly evolving threats. 

Are security stakeholders worried about how AI affects cyber threats and risks? 

The report highlights widespread concern among security practitioners about AI’s impact on organizations. These concerns span various issues, from the volume and sophistication of malware to internal risks such as the leakage of proprietary information through employees using generative AI tools. 

One significant internal risk is shadow AI. Employees can easily adopt publicly available text-based generative AI systems to boost productivity, leading to "shadow AI"—the use of popular AI tools without organizational approval or oversight. This practice can inadvertently expose sensitive information or intellectual property, posing substantial security risks. 

Are Organizations Taking Steps to Reduce Risks Associated with AI Adoption? 

Our survey reveals that 71.2% of participants report that their organizations have taken steps to mitigate the risks of using AI within their application and computing environments. Conversely, 16.3% claim their organizations have not taken these steps. 

These findings are encouraging, indicating that while enterprises are eager to harness AI's potential, they are also exercising caution. However, responses vary across roles. For instance, 79% of executives believe that necessary steps have been taken, compared to only 54% of respondents in hands-on roles like security analysts, operators, administrators, and incident responders. This suggests a gap between leadership perceptions and on-the-ground realities. 

Do security professionals feel assured in their readiness for the next generation of threats? 

A majority of respondents (60%) believe their organizations are inadequately prepared to face the next generation of AI-powered threats. The survey highlights differing perceptions of preparedness across regions and job roles. Security administrators, with their hands-on experience, are the most skeptical, with 72% feeling their organizations are unprepared. 

Notably, mid-sized organizations feel the least prepared, while the largest companies feel the most prepared. Regionally, participants in Asia-Pacific express the highest levels of concern about preparedness, aligning with the region’s recent high impact from cyber threats, according to the IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index. In contrast, respondents in Latin America feel more prepared, although this could change rapidly with shifting threat landscapes. 

What Are the Biggest Barriers to Defending Against AI-Powered Threats? 

The primary inhibitors identified are knowledge and personnel shortages. Additional concerns include budget constraints, tool integration challenges, lack of attention to AI-powered threats, and poor cyber hygiene. 

The cybersecurity industry faces a significant shortage of skilled professionals, with a global deficit of approximately 4 million experts. As organizations adopt AI, the demand for professionals with deep and broad knowledge across rapidly evolving security solutions intensifies. Educating end users about AI-driven defenses becomes paramount, particularly as there is a notable lack of understanding among cybersecurity professionals regarding AI-driven threats and countermeasures. 

Conclusion 

Darktrace’s State of AI Cybersecurity report underscores the critical impact of AI on the evolving cyber threat landscape. As organizations navigate these complex challenges, the adoption of  AI-powered Cybersecurity solutions becomes crucial. At Novigo Solutions, in partnership with Darktrace, we are committed to empowering organizations with advanced cybersecurity solutions.

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