62% of cybersecurity experts believe AI will be weaponized in next year

A recent survey of infosec professionals, conducted by Cylance, found that many believe artificial intelligence will soon be used to conduct cyberattacks.

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Some 62% of security experts believe that artificial intelligence (AI) will be weaponized and used for cyberattacks within the next 12 months, a Cylance survey released Tuesday found. This makes the growth of AI a double-edge sword, according to Cylance's blog post on the finding.

"While AI may be the best hope for slowing the tide of cyberattacks and breaches, it may also create more advanced attacker tactics in the short-term," the post said.

While the majority of those surveyed said that they felt there was a high possibility that AI would be used offensively, 32% said that there wasn't a possibility of that happening, and 6% said they didn't know. It was noted, however, that the potential use of AI as an offensive weapon wouldn't slow the use of AI as a defensive tool.

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Another topic discussed in the survey was the recent takedown of two dark web markets--AlphaBay and Hansa. While these types of markets are typically used to sell security vulnerabilities, 79% of respondents didn't believe their closure would slow the rate of ransomware attacks.

In terms of cybersecurity strategies and processes, OS patching and updating was the top concern, cited by 39% of respondents. Compliance issues were noted by 24% as their top concern, ransomware by 18%, triaging alerts by 10%, and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks by 8%.

However, this information was defined differently than the top security issues facing organizations. Of those surveyed, the top issues they have dealt with in the last three months were phishing (36%), critical infrastructure attacks (33%), IoT attacks (15%), ransomware attacks (14%) and botnet attacks (1%), the report found.

Cylance's survey also looked at attitudes regarding the top security threats facing the US at large. Russia took the top spot, with 34%, narrowly beating out organized cybercrime with its 33%. China came in third place with 20%, ahead of North Korea with 11%, and Iran with 2%.

Want to use this data in your next business presentation? Feel free to copy and paste these top takeaways into your next slideshow.

  • 62% of security experts believe that artificial intelligence (AI) will be weaponized and used for cyberattacks within the next 12 months. - Cylance, August 2017
  • OS patching and updating is a top concern of 39% of security professionals. - Cylance, Auguat 2017
  • Phishing (36%), critical infrastructure attacks (33%), and IoT attacks (15%) were top issues cited by cybersecurity professionals. - Cylance, August 2017

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