AI raises cybersecurity fears among professionals, EY report finds

Organizations can calm employee concerns about AI by doing these things.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
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Cybersecurity threats have always been a top-of-mind concern for professionals, but a new report suggests recent technological advancements have caused the fears to reach new heights. 

On Monday, EY revealed the results of its 2024 Human Risk in Cybersecurity Survey, which gathered insights from 1,000 employed Americans across public and private sectors on cybersecurity awareness and practices.

Cybersecurity is constantly evolving, as attackers adopt new techniques and defenders adapt to counter them. Over the past year, artificial intelligence (AI) developments have advanced cybersecurity attacks, accelerating the pace of this cat-and-mouse game.

The study found that working professionals are aware of these changes, with 85% of respondents believing AI has made cybersecurity attacks more sophisticated and 78% saying they're concerned about the use of AI in cyberattacks.

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The study also found that 39% of employees do not feel confident about using AI responsibly. Employees are looking for their companies to take action to help build their confidence in using AI tools.

As many as 91% of employees would like to see their organizations update their training to keep pace with AI developments. Employers have been missing the mark though: only 62% of employees reported their organizations have prioritized educating employees about responsible AI use.

As a result, the EY report encourages organizations to take action by strengthening efforts to educate staff about AI and ensuring senior executives lead by example.

"Cybersecurity training and attention from leaders across the C-suite contributes to the development of a strong security posture within an organization," EY Cybersecurity CTO Dan Mellen said in a statement.

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EY suggested that companies incorporate hands-on AI training protocols that give employees first-hand exposure to the technology's capabilities and risks.

EY also called on business leaders to be transparent with the public about how AI is being developed and deployed within the enterprise and to share the measures and practices they are using to mitigate any potential risks.

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