Why human error is still the top cybersecurity risk for organizations

C-suite executives are turning to AI and machine learning-based security solutions to combat threats, according to an Oracle report.

Businesses don't get how AI cybersecurity tools work, but plan to use them anyway Some 71% of businesses plan to use AI and machine learning in their security tools this year, though over half aren't sure what that tech really does, according to Webroot.

Despite advancing threats from hackers and nation states, human error remains the top cybersecurity concern for both C-suite executives and policymakers, according to a Wednesday report from Oracle. To combat this issue, professionals must invest more in employees—via training and hiring—than in technologies in the coming two years, the report found.

Only 38% of C-suite executives said they plan to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to improve security in the next two years, though these technologies can aid in minimizing human error, the report said.

SEE: Special report: How to implement AI and machine learning (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

In terms of other security investments over that time frame, 44% of C-suite executives said they plan to purchase new software with improved security, and 37% said they plan to invest in new infrastructure solutions, according to the report.

In the last five years, C-suite executives said they have upgraded existing software (60%), trained existing staff (57%), purchased new software with enhanced security features (54%), and invested in new infrastructure solutions (40%) to improve security, the report found.

Increasing threats

When asked about the greatest security threats to the technology industry specifically, C-suite respondents ranked attacks by foreign governments highest (30%). However, 78% of these executives said they believe the tech industry is well-equipped to protect data. Only 35% of executives said they believed it was the government's responsibility to protect consumer data, highlighting the critical role the tech sector plays.

"While the government has an important role to play in keeping America's data safe, today's increasingly dangerous cybersecurity landscape means it can't be expected to out-innovate attackers on its own. That's our job," Edward Screven, chief corporate architect at Oracle, said in a press release. "The U.S. government and businesses will need to rely on the technology sector more to advance the nation's cyber defense. We can build data centers, hire talent and secure data at scale more efficiently than any one individual customer can."

When it comes to AI, only 33% of executives surveyed said they plan to adopt and implement AI and machine learning to its fullest potential. However, they also said they believe autonomous technologies powered by these tools will improve the way they protect and defend against security threats, the report found.

For more on AI and cybersecurity, check out Top 5 barriers to AI security adoption on TechRepublic.

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Image: iStockphoto/Andrey Popov

By Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.