Study Reveals CIOs’ Limited Awareness of AI’s Role in Cyber Security

by | Oct 13, 2023

A new study by cybersecurity firm Integrity360 reveals that Chief Information Officers (CIOs) lack understanding of the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on cyber security. This knowledge gap raises concerns about vulnerabilities in defense systems. As AI-based cyberattacks increase, C-level executives must bridge this gap and fully grasp the implications of AI in cyber security to protect their organizations effectively.

The study surveyed 205 IT security decision-makers to shed light on the risks and advantages of AI in cyber security. One key finding was that 61% of respondents were worried about the growing presence of AI. While AI can improve incident response, there are concerns about its misuse by cybercriminals. Offensive AI techniques, such as using AI to create malware and phishing messages, amplify the existing threat landscape.

Brian Martin, Head of Product Development, Innovation, and Strategy at Integrity360, highlights the emerging threat of deepfake technology used by cybercriminals. Deepfakes allow malicious actors to manipulate audio and video content to deceive individuals. This threat emphasizes the need for organizations to strengthen their defense systems against AI-enabled attacks. Cybercriminals increasingly use AI to automate tasks and exploit vulnerabilities, so organizations must be proactive in embracing AI in their cyber security practices.

Despite concerns, the study also revealed that 71% of respondents recognized the positive impact of AI in improving the speed and accuracy of incident response. AI’s ability to analyze large amounts of data in real-time enhances the efficiency of cyber security operations. Additionally, 73% of respondents agreed that AI is becoming a crucial tool for security operations and incident response, highlighting the growing significance of AI technology in safeguarding organizations.

However, the research uncovered a knowledge gap among C-level executives regarding AI in cyber security. Around 46% of respondents admitted to not fully understanding the impact of AI on cyber security, indicating the need for greater education and awareness among top-level decision-makers. This knowledge gap poses risks as organizations must be proactive in embracing AI to stay ahead of cyber threats.

The study also found that 59% of respondents agreed that AI is increasing the number of cyber security attacks, emphasizing the need for robust defensive measures. Organizations must implement processes to protect against AI-enabled cyberattacks and be prepared for the rapidly evolving threat landscape. Moreover, 68% of respondents expressed concerns about cybercriminals using deepfakes to target their organizations, highlighting the urgent need to invest in technologies and strategies that can detect and mitigate the risks associated with deepfake attacks.

In conclusion, the study conducted by Integrity360 provides valuable insights into the impact of AI on cyber security. While AI can enhance security practices and improve incident response, CIOs and other C-level executives must bridge the knowledge gap and fully understand the implications of AI in cyber security. By doing so, organizations can effectively leverage AI to strengthen their defense systems and stay ahead of cyber threats in this digital era. It is crucial for organizations to invest in education, robust defensive measures, and technologies that can detect and mitigate the risks posed by AI-enabled cyberattacks and deepfakes.