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Keeping up with the latest threats isn’t easy for cyber security professionals. Akin to untying the legendary Gordian knot, stopping waves of unknown threats across every IT domain before one gets in is intricately complex. Recent advancements in artificial intelligence (AI)-what’s been called the Al revolution-are upping the ante even further. Security leaders must find strategies to level the playing field and evolve defenses in tandem with the sophistication of attacks.

The Impact of AI on Threats and Defense

We recently surveyed nearly 1,800 security leaders and practitioners across a broad array of global industries. Our research was conducted to understand how the adoption of new Al is affecting the threats stakeholders face, how they are responding, and Al’s role in prevention, threat detection, incident response, and recovery workflows.

Al’s effects on the threat landscape are already being felt. A majority of survey participants (74%) report their organizations are seeing significant impacts from Al-powered cyber threats. An even greater majority (89%) believe that Al-powered threats will continue to trouble their organizations well into the future.

Many security leaders and practitioners feel they are not ready for what’s to come. Two in every three survey participants (60%) believe their organizations are inadequately prepared to defend against Al-powered threats and attacks. Al may help reduce the industry-wide skills shortage that has held defenders back, but only if practitioners can maximize the value of these new tools in real-world workflows. To do so, they will need to know which Al-powered solutions will deliver on their promise, and which are simply hype.

Participants in our survey do understand that Al-powered security solutions are a must-have for defending against Al- powered threats. Nearly all respondents (96%) believe that Al- driven security solutions significantly improve the speed and efficiency of prevention, detection, response, and recovery. A large majority (71%) are also confident that Al-powered security solutions will be able to detect and block Al-powered threats.

However, there remains a significant need for education within the field. Many security stakeholders are not sure which types of Al are being applied in solutions. With generative Al and large language models (LLMs) getting so much press, there’s a tendency to overestimate how often they are used in security tools. Leaders are confident that their organizations are effectively mitigating Al security risks, while practitioners have less faith in these efforts. Professionals with hands-on experience may be less likely to be swayed by all the generative Al hype. Instead, they’re looking to improve integrations between their tools, reduce the cost and complexity of their cyber security stacks, and adopt a platform-oriented approach when implementing new tooling.

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