Hays: 89% of Cybersecurity Leaders Still Worry about AI Risk

According to the 2024 Global Cyber Security Report by Hays, 89% of cyber security leaders have expressed concern about the potential risks posed by AI

UK-based recruitment company Hays found that, whilst 98% of leaders believe AI will be useful for organisations in bolstering their cybersecurity teams, only 57% are planning to upskill their workforces for AI.

AI remains an essential tool within the global business landscape, but also a crucial risk. As organisations around the world continue to adopt AI-driven solutions, Hays highlights that understanding and mitigating these risks remains a top priority. 

This is particularly crucial given the rise of cyberattacks, which are currently set to cost the world US$9.5tn in 2024 alone. Recent reports suggest that, as AI becomes increasingly sophisticated and accessible to threat actors, the rate of cyberattacks and scams increases.

Revolutionising security practices

AI is beginning to help organisations boost the productivity of its employees within the world of work. Currently, it is working to eliminate administrative tasks and speed up the overall work process. 

Specifically, within cybersecurity, its adoption is expected to revolutionise security practices, which range from threat detection to incident response. 

As the cyber threat landscape continues to change in line with increased levels of new threats, organisations are having to innovate a wide range of new solutions in order to stay ahead. AI is one such solution to tackling these threats, with companies like BlackBerry creating tools to accelerate decision-making and better combat attacks.

When Hays asked its survey respondents who stands to gain the most from the AI evolution, 20% of respondents pointed to cyber adversaries leveraging the technology for malicious purposes. This was a sharp contrast to 14% identifying organisations as primary beneficiaries, with 63% believing that both organisations and adversaries will benefit equally.

Despite heavily publicised anxieties over the impact of AI and automation on human workforces, nearly half (44%) of those surveyed do not anticipate automation leading to job losses. Only 36% predict such an outcome by 2026, with 42% reporting they are seeking to increase headcount over the next year. 

This positive outlook suggests that enterprise understanding of the potential of AI is growing and can work to support human efforts, rather than replace them.

Hays also reveals that one of the largest concerns for business leaders currently is budget, with 87% of survey respondents citing worries about their cybersecurity funding. It points to a crucial challenge of attracting the right talent within the sector.

Adopting AI requires readiness

Despite the level of concern over the possible risks of AI technology, Hays reveals that only 57% of leaders plan to train their cybersecurity workforces on AI tools within the next year.

Significantly, one-quarter (25%) of leaders do not plan to upskill at all.

This disparity highlights the enterprise struggle of balancing technological adoption with workforce readiness. As this challenge continues, employees could be unable to harness the power of new tools and as a result, compromise their ability to combat and control cybersecurity threats or data breaches.

According to Hays, 73% of organisations invest 5% or less of their cybersecurity budget into developing talent. Meanwhile, almost twice as many respondents (42%) believe any further investment should be dedicated to increasing cyber headcount, rather than into training resources. 

Hays suggests that wanting to hire new talent, rather than upskilling existing talent, is not a long-term solution. It cites that the ongoing skills gap across the technology industry does not currently have enough talent, which could result in additional vulnerabilities that can be exploited by threat actors.

“With the prevalence of cyberattacks growing exponentially, the report highlights the pivotal role of AI in shaping the future of cyber security,” says James Milligan, Global Head of Technology at Hays. “Organisations must strike a balance between embracing AI’s potential and ensuring their workforce is adequately prepared to deal with the emerging threat landscape.”

He adds: “Additionally, organisations need to not only embrace emerging technologies and ensure teams are educated on benefits and pitfalls, but also to invest in them. It’s important to adapt quickly to a world in which AI solutions are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and at a rate we haven’t previously witnessed while the talent pool for AI skills is limited.

“The research demonstrates that respondents strongly believe that AI can support their team’s cyber capabilities. These tools must be incorporated into the security workforce’s training and development.”


Make sure you check out the latest edition of AI Magazine and also sign up to our global conference series - Tech & AI LIVE 2024


AI Magazine is a BizClik brand


Featured Articles

Why CISOs Remain Crucial in the Age of Rampant Ransomware

As ransomware attacks escalate, the CISO has emerged as an indispensable guardian for the cybersecurity of companies

Q&A: Protiviti's Sameer Ansari on CISOs' Growing Challenges

Managing Director - Global Cybersecurity and Privacy Lead at Protiviti, Sameer Ansari discusses his views on the growing challenges CISOs now face

How Partnerships Proved Pivotal for UnitedHealth After Hack

When hackers hit UnitedHealth subsidiary Change Healthcare with a huge cyber attack, its partnership with Vyne Dental proved pivotal in managing fallout.

Transforming Cybersecurity: IBM & Palo Alto's AI Integration

Technology & AI

C-suite Indifference to Cyber Could Cost Business £145k

Operational Security

Why Avast Warn of Social Engineering in Cybersecurity

Operational Security