AI benefits/risks, Managed Security Services

Can AI Protect Against Modern Cyberattacks?


Taken on its own, artificial intelligence cannot protect businesses from modern cyberattacks, a new study found. In fact, human input is critical to operationalizing the efficiencies artificial intelligence can deliver.

Findings gleaned from a survey of some 800 senior IT and cybersecurity decision makers at enterprise organizations in the U.S. and U.K. reveal executive attitudes towards the current use of AI within cybersecurity, and the role AI will play going forward. (Disclosure: The survey was conducted by CyberRisk Alliance, the parent company of MSSP Alert, and commissioned by Arctic Wolf).

Key findings from the survey include:

Investment in AI cybersecurity solutions is brand new.

  • 22% of organizations have the majority of their cybersecurity budget dedicated to AI-powered solutions.
  • 64% are highly-likely to add an AI-centric technology or solution to improve their cybersecurity readiness within the next year.

Threat detection and automation are AI top use cases for AI.

  • 61% of respondents believe AI will outperform humans when it comes to identifying threats.
  • Almost half (46%) of respondents believe AI’s primary benefit will be the automation of response actions or repetitive task such as alert triage.

Humans are an essential part of operationalizing potential AI efficiency gains.

  • Nearly 40% of respondents feel their teams lack the technical staff and skills required to manage AI solutions.
  • 52% believe that cybersecurity outcomes enabled by AI tools will be more cost-efficient than that of humans.

Near-term benefits of large language models (LLMs) in cybersecurity.

  • 13% of respondents view leveraging large language models to add context to existing data as a primary benefit of AI in their cybersecurity tools.
  • The majority of executives surveyed believe human analysts outperform LLMs and other AI technologies when it comes to explaining the context of threats.

“This survey reveals that the role artificial intelligence will play in enhancing threat detection and response is undeniable, yet it is crucial to recognize that technology alone cannot protect businesses against modern threats,” said Dan Schiappa, Arctic Wolf chief product officer.

“As threat actors become more advanced, and leverage AI tools themselves, humans will have an essential role investigating novel attacks, explaining their context within their business, and most importantly, leveraging their knowledge and expertise to train the very AI and machine learning models that will become deeply embedded within next-generation cybersecurity solutions.”

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.