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WhiteHat Security Research Reveals Nearly 60% of Industry Professionals Trust Cybersecurity Findings Verified by Humans over AI

WhiteHat Security, an independent subsidiary of NTT Ltd. and a leading application security provider, today released the results of its “AI and Human Element Security Sentiment Study,” based on a survey of 102 industry professionals at RSA Conference 2020. The research revealed that while over half of organisations use artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning in their security stack, nearly 60 percent are still more confident in cyberthreat findings verified by humans over AI.

The survey responses, along with the theme of “Human Element” at RSA Conference 2020, reflect the need for security organisations to incorporate both AI- and human-centric offerings, especially in the application security space. Three-quarters of respondents use an application security tool, and more than 40 percent of those application security solutions use both AI-based and human-based verification.

AI and machine learning have provided several advantages for cybersecurity professionals overall the past several years, especially in the face of the technology talent gap, which has left 45 percent of respondents’ companies lacking a sufficiently staffed cybersecurity team.

More than 70 percent of respondents agree that AI-based tools made their cybersecurity teams more efficient by eliminating over 55 percent of mundane tasks. Nearly 40 percent of respondents also feel their stress levels have decreased since incorporating AI tools into their security stack, and of those particular participants, 65 percent claim these tools allow them to focus more closely on cyberattack mitigation and preventive measures than before.

However, a majority of respondents emphasise there are skills that the human element provides that AI and machine learning simply cannot match. Despite the number of advantages AI-based technologies offer, respondents also reflected on the benefits the human element provides cybersecurity teams. Thirty percent of respondents cited intuition as the most important human element, 21 percent emphasised the importance of creativity, and nearly 20 percent agreed that previous experience and frame of reference is the most critical human advantage.

“With the growing cyberthreat landscape, it is imperative for security tools and organisations to have a combination of both AI and the human element so there can be continuous risk evaluation with verified results,” said Anthony Bettini, CTO at WhiteHat Security.

“For all its advantages, AI is still heavily reliant on humans to be successful. Human monitoring and continuous input are required if AI software is to successfully learn and adapt. This is why the human element will never be completely eradicated from the security process.”

To access the report with the complete findings of the survey, please visit: