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More Than Half of Organizations Plan to Adopt AI Solutions in Coming Year: Cloud Security Alliance

A new survey from the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the world’s leading organization dedicated to defining standards, certifications, and best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment, and Google Cloud, found that a remarkable 55% of organizations surveyed plan to adopt GenAI solutions within the next year, signaling a substantial surge in GenAI integration. The State of AI and Security Survey Report indicates that the push behind AI’s adoption can be attributed in large part to C-level executives (82% of respondents indicated executive leadership as being behind the push), who recognize the competitive advantage it offers in the modern business environment.

The study also found that AI integration into cybersecurity is not just a concept but also a practical reality for many, with 67% of respondents stating that they have tested AI specifically for security purposes. As for the ability to leverage AI, 48% of professionals expressed confidence in their organization’s ability to execute a strategy for leveraging AI in security, with 28% feeling reasonably confident and 20% very confident. Given the nascent stage of GenAI in this field, this level of assurance suggests that many professionals might be optimistic about their preparedness or overlook the intricacies of AI integration.

“The insights shared in this report into how industry experts view and prepare for AI’s evolving role in cybersecurity are pivotal in navigating this transition and ensuring a resilient, forward-looking digital infrastructure,” said Hillary Baron, lead author and Senior Technical Director for Research, Cloud Security Alliance.

“AI is transforming cybersecurity, offering both exciting opportunities and complex challenges. However, the disconnect between the C-suite and staff in understanding and implementing AI highlights the need for a strategic, unified approach to successfully integrate this technology,” said Caleb Sima, chair of CSA’s AI Safety Initiative.

“Once in a generation, we see a chance for profound cybersecurity transformation, not just incremental gains. With generative AI, we have the potential to turn the tables on attackers by 10x’ing the capabilities of defenders. While we need to counter attacker use of AI, it’s even more important to get going on integrating AI into cyber defenses today. The findings in the report resonate well with Google’s Secure AI Framework,” said Phil Venables, CISO, Google Cloud.

Among the survey’s other key findings:

  • Security professionals are cautiously optimistic about AI. 63% of respondents believe in AI’s potential to enhance security measures, especially in improving threat detection and response capabilities. However, 34% see AI as more beneficial for security teams, while 31% view it as equally advantageous for both protectors and attackers, and a notable 25% of respondents expressed concerns that AI could be more advantageous to malicious parties.

  • AI will empower, not replace, security professionals. Only a small fraction (12%) of security professionals believe it will completely replace their role. The majority believe it will help enhance their skill set (30%), support their role generally (28%), or replace large parts of their role (24%), freeing them up for other tasks.

  • C-suite executives have different perspectives from their staff when it comes to AI. C-levels demonstrate a notably higher self-reported familiarity with AI technologies than their staff. Moreover, C-levels report having a clearer understanding of potential AI use cases, with 51% feeling very clear about them, compared to just 14% of staff.

  • 2024 will be the year for AI Implementation. Over half (55%) of organizations are planning to implement security solutions and tools with GenAI and are exploring a diverse range of use cases for these technologies, with the top use cases being rule creation (21%), attack simulation (19%), and compliance violation detection (19%).

Google Cloud commissioned CSA to develop a survey and report to better understand the industry’s knowledge, attitudes, and opinions regarding AI. Google Cloud financed the project and co-developed the questionnaire with CSA research analysts. The survey was conducted online by CSA in November 2023 and received 2,486 responses from IT and security professionals from organizations of various sizes across the Americas, APAC and EMEA. CSA’s research analysts performed the data analysis for this report

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