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New Pillsbury Report Explores the Benefits and Risks of AI in Cybersecurity

Pillsbury has published a new research report that seeks to illuminate the important role artificial intelligence stands to play in defending against cyberattacks and data leaks. Titled “Artificial Intelligence & Cybersecurity: Balancing Innovation, Execution and Risk” and written by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the 22-page report uses extensive research and expert interviews to examine how AI can help strengthen cybersecurity, how the growing need for data to train AI systems is intensifying concerns around privacy, and how companies can anticipate risk.

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“As the public and private sectors have embraced digital transformation, their vulnerability to cyber threats has expanded considerably,” said Pillsbury’s firmwide Technology Industry Group leader Justin Hovey. “However, AI tools are well-suited to address some of the largest gaps in existing cyber defenses. Our hope is that this research can help organizations better understand the technology and therefore better protect themselves and the individuals they serve.”

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The research features extensive interviews with leading experts including AJ Abdallat (CEO, Beyond Limits), Johan Gerber (EVP Security & Cyber Innovation, MasterCard), Ansgar Koene (Global AI Ethics & Regulatory Leader, EY), Jessica Newman (Program Lead, AI Security Initiative, UC Berkeley), Marietje Schaake (President, CyberPeace Institute and International Policy Director, Cyber Policy Center, Stanford University), Leo Simonovich (VP & Global Head of Industrial Cyber and Digital Security, Siemens Energy) and Monique Shivanandan (CISO, HSBC). It also contains perspectives from Pillsbury lawyers, including David Stanton’s views on the value of cyber risk ratings and Rafi Azim-Khan’s take on the potential impact of the European Union’s AI Act.

Some of the data collected and examined in the report:

  • On average, it takes approximately nine months to identify and contain a data breach (207 days to detect the issue and another 73 to rectify it).
  • The worldwide average cost for a data breach in 2020 was US$3.86 million.
  • Business email compromise events increased by more than 50% in 2020, while ransomware attacks were up by 160%, and third-party and supply chain intrusions almost tripled.
  • Data security is the No. 1 reason many professionals are deploying AI, and nearly half of executives in Asia-PacificEurope, and the U.S. (48.9%) think AI/machine learning is the best tool to counter nation-state cyberattacks.
  • The market value of AI in cybersecurity is predicted to reach US$46.3 billion by 2027.

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