Reaching a Tipping Point: Majority of Execs Embrace AI, Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for security may be soon reaching a tipping point: In a global survey of C-suite executives, Radware found that about four in five (81%) reported having already or recently implemented more reliance on automated solutions.

Some 57% of executives report trusting automated systems that employ AI and machine learning as much or more than humans to protect their organizations. Two in five (38%) executives indicated that within two years, automated security systems would be the primary resource for managing cybersecurity.

“Businesses have to fight fire with fire,” said Carl Herberger, vice president of security solutions at Radware. “Today’s threat actors continue to build highly automated and adaptive tools, like the Mirai and Hajime botnets. These attacks can wreak catastrophic damage to a network. Executives that aren’t yet fighting these new dynamic threats with continuously adaptive attack detection and mitigation capabilities are putting their organization at risk.”

The report also found that the majority of respondents (85%) said that security threats are a CEO- or board-level concern in their company. Among all respondents, 94% said that security is an extremely or very important priority. About three in five (62%) rate it “extremely important,” marking a slight increase from last year, when just 53% did so.

Chief among executives’ worries about cyber-attacks is offering a negative customer experience, which 39% of executives ranked as the top impact to their business. Brand reputation loss (36%) was close behind, followed by operational and customer loss (both 29%), and revenue loss (34%).

This year’s survey respondents affirmed that their organizations are actively integrating digital technologies—and that cybersecurity is the number-one driver of their digital transformation. Nearly half of all executives (47%) cited improving information security as a major goal of their digital transformation. What’s more, for three-quarters of organizations, cybersecurity considerations were critical in shaping decisions to transform aspects of the business to digital.

In terms of the next likely targets, executives believe that the biggest security threats in the next three to five years are network infrastructure (27%) followed by internet of things (IoT) (22%) devices and energy/power infrastructure (21%).

“Executives are scrutinizing the gaps in their security like never before, taking a more active approach to defending their customer experience and avoiding the brand damage that hackers can cause,” said Anna Convery-Pelletier, CMO at Radware. “Today’s educated consumer is keenly aware of security—as customer experience is now closely tied with reputation management and data protection. Consumers therefore use these critical parameters as the basis for their decision to do business with a company.”

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