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AI Is "Fundamental" to Future of SME Cybersecurity

Research shows that small and medium enterprises (SMEs), while confident that artificial intelligence (AI) will be vital to the future of cybersecurity, do not feel certain about whether their investment in cybersecurity is worth the cost.

The report by AI cybersecurity company Senseon, The State of Cybersecurity, found that 81% of SMEs believe that AI will be able to improve the security posture of their organizations. A further 76% believing the technology will improve their day-to-day working lives. 

Even though SMEs believe AI will positively affect their business, uptake of AI solutions within SMEs has been slow, with a 4% adoption rate. According to the report, aside from the cost (52%), results show that marketing hype is a barrier to adoption of AI (24%) and a lack of knowledge of AI (36%).

The report also looked at other barriers to implementing cybersecurity, finding that over half (53%) of SMEs feel an increased budget would help them deal with cybersecurity workload. Further, security professionals are uncertain whether they will see return on investment on their current solutions; 49% believe the business will see an overall net loss due to cybersecurity investment. 

David Atkinson, CEO and founder of Senseon, commented, “Issues within SMEs surrounding security are centered around stringent budgets, and frantic adoption of more and more tools is likely resulting in needless costs for the businesses." 

"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 rationalize their existing technologies and look to prove a strong return on investment, as well as protecting the business," he continued. "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 report also shows that 69% of SMEs are looking to implement AI security solutions in the next five years and 44% are planning to invest in AI or machine learning defense in the immediate future. 

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