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80 per cent of businesses claim AI is their biggest cyber threat

Four in five (80 per cent) of cybersecurity leaders claim that AI is the biggest cyber threat to their business, according to new research from RiverSafe, a leading cybersecurity professional services provider.

The findings were revealed in the AI Unleashed: Navigating Cyber Risks Report, a survey of 250 cybersecurity leaders conducted by independent polling agency Censuswide, which detailed the rising threat of AI in cybersecurity. The research uncovered the preparedness of organisations and their plans to improve cyber posture to cope against AI-powered threats.

It was found that 81 per cent believe that the risks of artificial intelligence are more of a threat than the benefits it brings, suggesting that more must be done to improve confidence towards the development of AI.

Matthew Scott, Police and Crime Commissioner, Kent said: “Nearly 40% of businesses reported a cyber attack in 2022* and we know digitally-enabled crime accounts for more than half of all offences. There are clear benefits to AI but that cannot come without proper checks and balances and a legal framework to protect businesses and the economy. It is vital that government, policing, security services and business work together to boost prevention, education, and protection in what is a rapidly developing industry.”

Just over three quarters (76 per cent) said that the implementation of AI in their business has been halted due to the cyber risk it poses, while 14 per cent do not feel confident in their organisation’s ability to protect against AI-driven cyber-attacks, requiring the evolution of cyber defences to adapt.

Suid Adeyanju, CEO at RiverSafe, said: “AI has taken over in recent months, forcing governments, regulators and businesses to rapidly develop responses to inbound AI threats, adding additional pressure to security teams. AI-enabled attacks themselves are still evolving which requires businesses to constantly review and update their cybersecurity measures to ensure that they are sufficiently protected.”

“Moving forward, security teams must ensure the safe development of AI for their organisation while maintaining their security posture for the evolving threat that AI poses. Balancing these two aspects is key to unlocking the potential of AI as a positive business tool.”

Worryingly, under half of businesses (45 per cent) said they have a system in place to review security risks posed by immediate suppliers, indicating heightened threats within the supply chain posed by the emerging threat of AI.

Oseloka Obiora, CTO at RiverSafe commented: “Innovation is a core goal for the UK and becoming a leader in the development of emerging technologies such as AI is important. Government and industry should embrace the benefits that AI brings, but this must be balanced out by mitigating the risks.”

“It is especially concerning to see the lack of visibility that many businesses have over their supply chain, presenting unmonitored entry points for threat actors. This is an area that security teams must address to better protect themselves and their customers, particularly given the added fears that AI-powered threats pose.”