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In the Battle Against IoT Threats, AI Is a Key Weapon

The concept of defending a perimeter to thwart off cyber-attacks has long been disappearing. Since the advent of the internet of things (IoT), connected devices have created gaps in security by opening up new attack vectors. According to a new study, How AI and Automation Can Close the IT Security Gap in the Era of IoT, IT security teams are increasingly relying on artificial intelligence to close IoT-era cybersecurity gaps.

The global research study, conducted by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, surveyed 4,000 security and IT professionals across the globe and found that when security systems incorporate machine learning and other AI technologies, they are better able to detect and stop IoT-targeted attacks.

According to the study, more than three-quarters of respondents believe their IoT devices are not secure. More than half (60%) said that IoT devices – even seemingly superfluous ones – pose a threat, yet two-thirds of respondents lack the ability to protect their devices.

“AI comes in because changes are not something that standard security techniques are well versed in. It’s hard to create visibility, but enabling technology like AI or ML [machine learning] is going to be so important for organizations attempting to achieve a strong security posture,” said Larry Lunetta, vice president of security solutions marketing, at Aruba.

The majority (68%) of respondents said AI-based products help reduce false alerts, while 63% said the technologies increase the overall effectiveness of the security team. For 60% of survey participants, AI-based technologies augment their investigation efficiencies, and 56% reported that implementing machine learning tools has afforded faster discovery of and response to attacks in which malicious actors have evaded perimeter defense systems.

Of the respondents, 25% are currently using some form of AI-based security solution, and an additional 26% have plans to deploy the tools within a year.

“Despite massive investments in cybersecurity programs, our research found most businesses are still unable to stop advanced, targeted attacks, with 45% believing they are not realizing the full value of their defense arsenal,” said Larry Ponemon, Ponemon Institute founder and primary researcher, in a press release.

“It’s become a perfect storm, with nearly half of respondents saying it’s very difficult to protect complex and dynamically changing attack surfaces, compounded by a lack of security staff with the necessary expertise to battle today’s attackers who are persistent, sophisticated, well trained and financed. Against this backdrop, AI-based security tools were viewed as a key weapon to help businesses keep up with increasing threat levels.”

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