Dell Investigates Gen AI’s Role in Cybersecurity

Over 50% of Organisations Suffered a Cyberattack That Prevented Access to Data in 2023, Highlighting the Necessity of Business Cybersecurity Says Dell

In 2023, more than half of organisations faced cyberattacks or incidents hampering data access, underscoring the critical role of business cybersecurity. According to Dell Technologies' 2023 Global Data Protection Index Report, a staggering 90% of organisations experienced some form of IT disruption last year. Of those, 55% reported that the initial point of entry for cyberattacks was external, often via users interacting with phishing emails, malicious links, or compromised credentials.

In terms of financial impact, disruptions leading to data loss incurred an average cost of US$2.61m in 2023. This came with an average of 26 hours of unplanned downtime and resulted in an average loss of 2.45TB of data. Notably, costs associated with cyberattacks and related incidents doubled, soaring from US$660,000 in 2022 to US$1.41m in 2023.

Steve Young, UK SVP and MD, Dell Technologies, expressed concern over the doubling of cyberattack costs and the prevalent external entry points, stating, "It's also concerning that over half of those who experienced a cyberattack event said the attacker's first point of entry was external, such as users clicking on phishing emails and malicious links."

As cybercrime evolves in sophistication, the expanding capabilities of Gen AI present both opportunities and challenges. Young emphasised the need for organisations to leverage innovations like Gen AI to fortify defences. However, he cautioned that as Gen AI generates new volumes of data, protecting it becomes more challenging.

Young noted, "Multicloud still appears to be the preferred strategy for organisations seeking to deploy or update applications, but the increasingly distributed nature of data is causing data protection concerns." He stressed the importance of a coherent multi-cloud strategy to ensure dynamic defences against evolving threats.

The role of Gen AI in cybersecurity

AI's capacity to analyse vast data, recognise patterns, and make real-time decisions positions it as a game-changer in the battle against cyber threats. According to Dell's report, Gen AI is emerging as a strategic tool for enhancing defences, with 52% believing it provides an advantage in cybersecurity. However, 88% acknowledge the dual nature of Gen AI, recognising it as both a defensive asset and a source of complexity.

The adoption of Gen AI, while enhancing the value of specific data types, introduces challenges. This includes the generation of large volumes of new data that demand protection and security measures. When it comes to ransomware attacks, responses indicate overconfidence in dealing with breaches. Three-quarters believe paying a ransom would guarantee retrieval of all data, and 66% think they won't be attacked again post-payment.

Rob Tomlin, Vice President, UK Channel, at Dell Technologies, highlighted the dual role of Gen AI, stating, "It can be a powerful tool to strengthen organisations' cyber posture while simultaneously creating new attack vectors and increasing the risk of cyber attacks." He emphasised the importance of channel partners developing the right skills and resources to assist customers in addressing these challenges for a substantial competitive advantage.

In summary, the 2023 Global Data Protection Index Report underscores the pervasive nature of IT disruptions and the escalating financial and operational costs associated with cyberattacks. Gen AI emerges as a valuable asset in cybersecurity, yet its adoption introduces complexities and challenges that organisations must navigate with strategic planning and robust security measures.


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