Cyber leaders worry that AI will overwhelm cyber defences

Image: Tima Miroshnichenko
Sep 25 2023 by Management-Issues Print This Article

The rising adoption of AI is changing the way cybercriminals attack IT systems, manipulate employees, and steal digital assets. And the overwhelming majority of cybersecurity leaders believe that AI in the wrong hands will outpace cyber defences, according to new research from RiverSafe, a UK-based cybersecurity professional services provider.

A survey of 250 cyber leaders found that 85% worry that AI will overwhelm cyber defences while almost two thirds (61%) have already seen an increase in cyber-attack complexity due to AI. Overall, eight out of 10 (80%) view AI as the single biggest cyber threat their business faces, and seven out of 10 (69%) are investing more in more resilient measures to improve their detection and response protocols.

"Cyber leaders view AI as their biggest security risk and, given its rapid development, it's vital that defence strategies and security postures are re-evaluated and updated to best protect against this emerging threat," said RiverSafe CEO, Suid Adeyanju.

"AI can bring cybersecurity benefits to businesses through means such as pattern detection, but organisations must be aware of the associated risks, which can be hugely disruptive to business operations."

Over a fifth of those surveyed admitted that their cyber strategy is outdated and needs to be refreshed to respond to new threats. Only four out of 10 (39%) have a formal incident response for dealing with ransomware attacks, while 16% feel their existing risk controls aren't sufficient.

"AI has captivated businesses with excitement, but organisations should be wary about jumping in feet first without the necessary security measures, added RiverSafe's CTO, Oseloka Obiora. "Businesses need to find the balance between gaining a competitive edge in the marketplace with robust cybersecurity measures to avoid leaving themselves vulnerable, as the cost of a successful attack on customer and employee data, can be devastating."

Full report: AI Unleashed: Navigating Cyber Risks