Smoke and Mirrors: Do AI and Machine Learning Make a Difference in Cybersecurity?

Over the last several years, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has maintained consistent growth among businesses. During our 2017 survey of IT decision makers in the United States and Japan, we discovered that approximately 74% of businesses in both regions were already using some form of AI or ML to protect their organizations from cyber threats. When we checked in with both regions at the end of 2018, 73% of respondents we surveyed reported they planned to use even more AI/ML tools in the following year. For this report, we surveyed 800 IT professionals with cybersecurity decision-making power across the US, UK, Japan, and Australia/New Zealand regions at the end of 2019, and discovered that 96% of respondents now use AI/ML tools in their cybersecurity programs.

Despite the increase in adoption rates for these technologies, more than half of IT decision makers admitted they do not fully understand the benefits of these tools. Overall, this report highlights continued themes of confusion and lack of knowledge regarding the use cases and capabilities of AI and machine learning-based cybersecurity tools, as well as a general distrust in their capabilities, based on how such tools are advertised by vendors.

Ultimately, the results demonstrate that continued education, increased awareness, and overall standardization across the industry will be help businesses around the world become more resilient against cyberattacks and other IT challenges.

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