New market research conducted by SlashNext and Osterman Research has revealed a startling fact: 91% of security and IT professionals agree that cybercriminals are already utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) in email attacks. This highlights the growing concern surrounding email and multi-channel messaging security in organizations, as AI continues to play a pivotal role in the ever-evolving threat landscape.
The report, titled “The Role of AI in Email Security,” surveyed tech and security leaders from organizations with at least 1,000 employees. It not only confirms the rampant use of AI by cybercriminals but also showcases organizations’ determination to defend against these attacks using AI-enabled security solutions.
The study found that 74% of respondents experienced an increase in the use of AI by cybercriminals in the past six months. Furthermore, a staggering 88% of respondents believe that cybercriminals will continue to innovate in their utilization of AI in these types of attacks. This aligns with the warnings issued by security experts and researchers since the public availability of ChatGPT, a language model AI developed by OpenAI, and its malicious counterparts like WormGPT, which have made their way onto dark web forums.
The report emphasizes that while email has always been a primary target for cybercriminals, their attacks have branched out to other communication channels such as mobile devices, Slack, LinkedIn, and Microsoft Teams. To address these evolving threats, security and IT professionals are actively seeking security solutions that offer protection beyond traditional email security measures.
Key findings of the report include:
– 25% of respondents identified email security as their top concern, with an additional 52% ranking it among their top three concerns.
– The importance of AI in email defenses has grown fourfold over the past year, with 92% of respondents rating it as moderately or extremely important.
– 90% of respondents confirmed implementing AI-enabled email security solutions beyond what their cloud email providers offer.
– Organizations that adopted AI-enabled security solutions reported improved efficacy in detecting various types of threats in email, even as threat actors continuously change their attack methods.
– 83.7% of respondents considered the ability to protect other communication and collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and Slack, highly important when evaluating AI-enabled email security solutions.
The research underscores the need for organizations to protect more than just email. IT and security leaders must expand their focus to cover the entire attack surface, including other communication and collaboration tools. Specialized AI-based solutions are emerging as crucial defense mechanisms to combat email and multi-channel security threats. As Michael Sampson, Principal Analyst at Osterman Research, puts it, “The security community is clearly embracing the idea that we must fight AI with AI.”
As cyber threats continue to evolve, it is imperative that organizations remain vigilant and adopt advanced AI-enabled security solutions to safeguard their digital channels effectively. By fighting fire with fire, they can stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and protect their valuable information.
1. What percentage of security and IT professionals believe cybercriminals are already using AI in email attacks?
– According to the report, 91% of security and IT professionals agree that cybercriminals are already utilizing AI in email attacks.
2. Have organizations observed an increase in the use of AI by cybercriminals?
– Yes, 74% of respondents reported experiencing an increase in the use of AI by cybercriminals in the past six months.
3. How important is AI in email defenses?
– The report reveals that the importance of AI in email defenses has increased fourfold over the past year, with 92% of respondents rating it as moderately or extremely important.
4. What percentage of organizations have implemented AI-enabled email security solutions?
– The research found that 90% of respondents confirmed implementing AI-enabled email security solutions beyond what their cloud email providers offer.
5. Which other communication and collaboration tools are IT and security leaders focused on protecting?
– IT and security leaders are increasingly concerned about protecting other communication and collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Slack, and Zoom.
– SlashNext: www.slashnext.com
– Osterman Research: www.ostermanresearch.com