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Craig Hale

Companies are rushing to use generative AI, but are ignoring the security risks

A profile of a human brain against a digital background.

New research from Zscaler has criticized companies for rushing into adopting AI tools too early, often overlooking their own cybersecurity.

The survey of more than 900 global IT decision-makers, found that 95% of organizations use generative AI tools like ChatGPT in their businesses, but 89% consider them to be risky.

The study lifts the wraps off the reality of the current state of monitoring and cybersecurity, revealing that a considerable amount of businesses are exposing themselves to heightened risk without thinking.

Businesses aren’t protecting themselves against GenAI

One-third (33%) of the businesses analyzed had not implemented any additional security measures to protect against generative AI, although some have started to explore the matter. A further quarter (23%) were not even monitoring GenAI usage at all.

Sanjay Kalra, VP Product Management at Zscaler, said: “With the current ambiguity surrounding their security measures, a mere 39% of organizations perceive their adoption as an opportunity rather than a threat. This not only jeopardizes their business and customer data integrity, but also squanders their tremendous potential.”

According to the research, smaller businesses are more likely to perceive generative AI usage as risky.

Fortunately, the research presents an opportunity for businesses to slow down, stand back, and take a look. A fraction of the driving force for AI adoption comes from employees, with the majority stemming from IT teams.

With seemingly little worker appetite for AI at this stage, businesses should be able to reduce the pace or even pause the rollout of AI tools in order to reassess security.

The clock is ticking, though, because half (51%) of Zscaler’s respondents expect interest to increase substantially by the end of the year, leaving companies with a matter of weeks to fine-tune their processes.

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