Why CXOs are leading the charge for AI-based security

While 73% of organizations already use some level of artificial intelligence, the technology comes with its own challenges, according to a ProtectWise report.

How AI, IoT, and big data will shape the future of cybersecurity There are more connected devices than people on the planet, says IBM Security Vice President Caleb Barlow. We have to shift our thinking now about how we manage device security.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has a prominent presence in the enterprise, especially in regards to cybersecurity efforts, according to Wednesday's State of AI in Cybersecurity report from ProtectWise and Osterman Research. Some 73% of organizations have implemented AI on some level, and 60% of organizations said they believe AI makes investigation of alerts faster within a security infrastructure, the report found.

The biggest supporters of AI-enabled security products are actually CXOs: Of the 400 employees with security knowledge surveyed, 55% pointed to executives as the strongest advocates for AI solutions in security, the report found. Only 38% of non-IT executives are leading the charge for AI-based security, which is surprising, as those individuals are usually the ones directly working with the AI solutions, according to the report.

SEE: Artificial intelligence: Trends, obstacles, and potential wins (Tech Pro Research)

Regardless, CXOs have good reason for supporting AI-enabled security efforts, as the technology yields some major benefits. Some 60% of organizations reported AI improving the efficiency of their security staff, according to the report, and nearly half said AI automated initial triage and optimized threat identification.

Organizations that use more AI than others tend to continue using more AI, and consequently reap more of the benefits, the report found. Among organizations in which more than 10% of security products are AI-enabled, 40% labeled AI as "extremely important" in decision-making processes.

However, AI does present some challenges, according to the report. Some 60% of organizations reported AI not stopping zero-day and advanced threats. AI also tends to focus more on malware, with 51% of organizations agreeing AI prioritizes malware over detecting exploits. Additionally, AI isn't always very accurate, as 54% of organizations said AI can produce some incorrect results, according to the report.

Still, the organizations with a higher number of AI-enabled security solutions are less likely to see the flaws as major limitations, allowing to benefits to outweigh the challenges, the report found.

Check out this TechRepublic article to learn more about the challenges that accompany AI and security.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • 73% are using AI in some way at their companies, and 60% of organizations reported AI making the investigation of alerts go faster. — ProtectWise, 2018
  • Some of AI's biggest challenges in security are its inability not to detect zero-day and advanced threats (60%). — ProtectWise, 2018

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Image: iStockphoto/metamororks

By Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.