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Fact Or Fiction: Perceptions And Misconceptions Of AI And Machine Learning In Cybersecurity

Source: Webroot

Stop. Think.

What do the terms artificial intelligence and machine learning mean to you? If what comes to mind initially is a vague notion about science fiction concepts, you’re not alone. Even IT pros at large enterprise organizations with over 1,000 employees can’t escape pop culture visions fed by films and TV. But let’s add further context. What do these terms mean to you when you think about the role they might play in cybersecurity?

Historically, we’ve seen significant global confusion around artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies and their role in cybersecurity and business continuity. And yet, adoption continues rising. In our latest survey, featured in this report, the majority of enterprises (93%) use AI/ML, yet 55% admit they are unsure what that means. According to our year-over-year figures, even though the level of understanding around these tools is increasing, that increase is happening at a significantly slower pace than the adoption rate.

Today, as cyberattacks abound and businesses and individuals continue to navigate the remote work culture brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining uptime and continuity has never been more critical. Without technologies like AI and ML, which can automatically and drastically improve threat detection, protection, and prevention, the threats to business continuity and overall resilience grow exponentially.

For the purposes of this report, we surveyed IT decision-makers at enterprises (1000+ employees), small and medium-sized businesses (<250 employees), and consumers (home users) throughout the U.S., U.K., Japan, and Australia/ New Zealand to gain a deeper understanding of their stance on AI/ML, cybersecurity at large, and how they perceive AI/ML cybersecurity vendors and other businesses in terms of their own security capabilities. The results clearly demonstrate the necessity for increased awareness and transparency about these tools and their role in continuity and security. By improving understanding, businesses can better position themselves to attract and retain customers, and both businesses and individuals the world over benefit from greater resilience against modern attacks.

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