Darktrace’s State of AI Cybersecurity Report reveals that three quarters of UK businesses have been impacted by AI-powered cyber threats

Darktrace’s State of AI Cybersecurity Report reveals that three quarters of UK businesses have been impacted by AI-powered cyber threats

Darktrace, a global leader in cybersecurity AI, has today released its UK State of AI Cybersecurity Report, which surveyed over 200 security leaders and practitioners across a broad array of industries.

The research asked security leaders their thoughts on the threats facing their businesses following the widespread adoption of AI, which has increased the speed, sophistication and success of cyber attacks.

Almost three quarters (71%) of businesses are already seeing AI-powered cyber threats significantly impact their organisations, and almost all (92%) expect these threats will continue to trouble their organisations in the future.

Respondents are particularly concerned that the threats will increase the volume and sophistication of exploits targeting known vulnerabilities (rated 3.73/5 in terms of concern level).

Whilst there is an awareness of these threats, the vast majority (95%) of respondents in the UK are not strongly confident in their organisations’ ability to defend against AI-powered attacks, and half (48%) feel they are not adequately prepared for what’s to come.

Also read: Five Critical Reasons for Embracing AI Cybersecurity Tools

This lack of preparedness is a challenge for UK businesses given the rising prevalence of large-scale AI-driven attacks in the country, with high-profile targets falling victim such as Barclays and HSBC. The UK faces the third highest number of attacks in the world, behind only the US and Ukraine. Half of UK businesses experienced some sort of breach or attack last year, including 74% of large businesses.

However, on the global stage, Darktrace’s research found that other countries feel even less prepared to defend against AI-powered threats. Based on their security capabilities currently in place, Japan is the most unprepared (90%), followed by Australia (78%), Germany (78%), Netherlands (73%), Singapore (72%), UAE (71%), Spain (59%), France (54%) and the US (54%).

Taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity

British security professionals are aware that the best way to defend and protect their businesses from AI-driven threats is by having AI-enabled defences. 98% of security stakeholders believe that AI-driven solutions will boost their defences, and the majority (72%) are significantly or extremely confident in the ability of AI security to stop AI-powered threats.

Two thirds (64%) consider adding AI-powered security tools to supplement their existing solutions as their top priority for improving their defences against AI-powered threats, with upping their cyber readiness as their second highest priority. 

AI-powered solutions are often the answer to improving cyber readiness. By using AI within security stacks, teams can take a more proactive approach to cybersecurity, where security teams and AI work in lockstep to protect businesses and improve resilience.

Two in three (65%) British security professionals surveyed are confident that AI-powered solutions will be able to stop AI-powered threats automatically, reducing alert fatigue and freeing up time for security teams to consider their wider security strategy.

Hanah Darley, Head of Threat Research, commented: “We’ve seen time and time again that cybercriminals are using AI to infiltrate businesses at a faster and more accurate rate. For businesses, it’s becoming a near inevitability that hackers will try to breach their systems – and this is shown by three quarters of those in the UK having already been impacted.

The best way forward for security professionals is to play hackers at their own game and embrace AI within security stacks. AI can automate time consuming tasks, uplifting security teams to be able to think strategically and plan their next line of defences. At a time when the UK is a highly attractive target for attacks on the global stage, there’s no better way to secure a business.”

Platform-based security measures

When asked about their business’ security solutions, most (86%) respondents reported that their organisation prefers to purchase security capabilities as part of a broader platform instead of individual point products. The majority (89%) are also very confident that platform-orientated approaches are more effective at stopping threats than collections of point products.

Over three quarters (79%) also consider reducing the cost and complexity of their cybersecurity stack as a key objective at their organisation.

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