71% of U.S. Businesses Plan to Use More AI & ML in 2019

Businesses Recognize the Need for AI & ML Tools in Cybersecurity, but Understanding is Still Lacking

BROOMFIELD - March 14, 2019

New research from Webroot, the Smarter Cybersecurity®   company, reveals that 71 percent of businesses surveyed in the United States plan to use more artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) in their cybersecurity tools this year, although over half (58%) aren’t sure what that technology really does.

The global report titled, “Knowledge Gaps: AI and Machine Learning in Cybersecurity” details that more businesses are leveraging AI/ML tools within cybersecurity, and the perceptions IT professionals have around said tools. Although over one-third (36%) of organizations experienced a damaging cyberattack within the last year, the majority is still extremely confident (83%) they have all the tools they need to successfully defend themselves against criminals using AI/ML-based threats.

While 71 percent of businesses plan to spend more budget on AI/ML tools in 2019, only 49 percent of IT professionals feel extremely comfortable using these tools. This presents a clear disconnect and supports the need for further education, or outsourced support from skilled experts, particularly when 86 percent of IT professionals agree that cybercriminals are also leveraging AI/ML in their attacks.

Explore the Results: Knowledge Gaps: AI and Machine Learning in Cybersecurity

Key Findings from U.S. Respondents:

  • 84% believe cybercriminals are using AI/ML to attack organizations
  • 76% do not care if their protection uses AI/ML as long as it keeps them safe from cybercriminals
  • Yet 70% say it is very important that cybersecurity advertising mention use of AI or ML
  • 71% of IT professionals report their business plans to use more AI/ML tools in 2019
  • Yet only 49% of IT professionals feel extremely comfortable using AI/ML tools

Key Quote:

Hal Lonas, CTO, Webroot

“AI and ML continue to present a troubling knowledge gap, particularly given the amount of confusing hype in the cybersecurity industry. A company cannot properly defend against advanced AI and ML attacks when less than half of its IT professionals are comfortable using the tools needed to defend against those attacks. To level the playing field, organizations need to partner with vendors that have the historical data and skilled staff required to deliver the highest level of efficacy and automation to their customers. And even though 70 percent of professionals in the survey say it’s very important that vendors mention the use of AI and ML in their advertising, advertisements should be validated by quality data.”

Additional Resources:

Survey Methodology

Survey respondents were provided by Branded Research Inc., which has an active proprietary global panel of over 2 million respondents. The survey was conducted by LEWIS between November 26 and December 5, 2018, and consisted of an online survey of 37 questions total, requiring approximately 10 minutes. For all survey respondents, LEWIS partners with Imperium to only work with companies who implement their quality control services on their sampling services. Imperium is solely focused on helping companies guarantee data integrity and comply with industry regulations. Survey responses were received from 400 full-time IT professionals at the IT director level and above; 200 of which were from the United States, and 200 from Japan. Respondents represented organizations that had 250 employees or more, and 87 percent were the primary decision makers for cybersecurity tools purchased within their organization. The overall margin of error was 5 percent at a 95 percent confidence interval.

About Webroot

Webroot was the first to harness the cloud and artificial intelligence to protect businesses and individuals against cyber threats. We provide the number one security solution for managed service providers and small businesses, who rely on Webroot for endpoint protection, network protection, and security awareness training. Webroot BrightCloud® Threat Intelligence Services are used by market-leading companies like Cisco, F5 Networks, Citrix, Aruba, Palo Alto Networks, A10 Networks, and more. Leveraging the power of machine learning to protect millions of businesses and individuals, Webroot secures the connected world. Headquartered in Colorado, Webroot operates globally across North America, Europe, and Asia. Discover Smarter Cybersecurity® solutions at webroot.com. 

About Us

Webroot delivers next-generation endpoint security and threat intelligence services to protect businesses and individuals around the globe. Our smarter approach harnesses the power of cloud-based collective threat intelligence derived from millions of real-world devices to stop threats in real time and help secure the connected world.