C-Suite Execs Eye AI for Security
May 7, 2019
majority of C-Suite executives and policy makers in the United States
believe investing in security software, infrastructure and emerging
technologies is critical to protecting U.S. data from growing
cybersecurity risks, according to a newly released survey.
Asked what would make the U.S. government better equipped to secure
data, 51 percent of C-Suite executives and 62 percent of policy makers
cite investing in IT/security infrastructure; 59 percent of the C-Suite
and 60 percent of policy makers cite investing in security software.
When it comes to their own security investments over the next 24 months,
44 percent of C-Suite executives and 33 percent of policy makers plan to
purchase new software with enhanced security; and 37 percent and 25
percent, respectively, plan to invest in new infrastructure solutions to
The report, “Security in the Age of AI” detailing the views and actions
of C-Suite executives, policy makers and the general public related to
cybersecurity and data protection, was released today by Oracle.
In addition, both C-Suite executives and policy makers rank “human
error” as the top cybersecurity risk for their organizations. However,
in the next two years, they are choosing to invest more in people—via
training and hiring—than in technology, such as new types of software,
infrastructure, and artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning
(ML), which is essential to advancing security and significantly
minimizing human error. Only 38 percent of C-Suite executives and 26
percent of policy makers plan to invest in AI and ML to improve security
in the next 24 months.
“We are at a critical juncture in our cybersecurity journey, as more
decision makers in the public and private sector recognize the benefits
of investing in next-generation technology designed for security to make
progress on addressing previously intractable threats, instead of
relying solely on people or legacy technology,” said Edward Screven,
Chief Corporate Architect at Oracle. “That said, there is a delta
between what C-Suite executives and policy makers think is best for
America’s cyber future and the actions they are taking for their own
organizations, indicating a greater need for business and government to
understand how and why next generation technologies are so critical for
their own cyber defenses.”
Queried about what their organization has done over the past five years
to improve security, both C-Suite executives and policy makers said they
had upgraded existing software (60 percent and 52 percent respectively)
and trained existing staff (57 percent and 50 percent respectively).
Just over half (54 percent) of C-Suite executives and 41 percent of
policy makers have purchased new software with enhanced security
features, with 40 percent of C-Suite executives and 27 percent of policy
makers having invested in new infrastructure solutions.
Technology Industry Faces Great Threats and Responsibilities
As for what they perceived to be the greatest security threat to the
technology industry, attacks by foreign governments was ranked highest
by respondents (C-Suite 30 percent; policy makers 37 percent).
Seventy-eight percent of C-Suite executives, 75 percent of policy makers
and 64 percent of the general public believe the technology industry is
well equipped to protect data. Additionally, 79 percent of C-Suite
executives and policy makers, and 64 percent of the general public trust
the technology industry to behave responsibly and in the best interests
of the American public, as it relates to data security. Interestingly,
only one in three C-Suite executives (34 percent) and policy makers (32
percent) think it is the government’s responsibility to protect consumer
data, highlighting the critical role that the technology sector has to
play in keeping U.S. data protected.
“While the government has an important role to play in keeping America’s
data safe, today’s increasingly dangerous cybersecurity landscape means
it can’t be expected to out-innovate attackers on its own. That’s our
job,” said Screven. “The U.S. government and businesses will need to
rely on the technology sector more to advance the nation’s cyber
defense. We can build data centers, hire talent and secure data at scale
more efficiently than any one individual customer can.”
Artificial Intelligence and Its Impact on Security
Only 33 percent of C-Suite executives and 20 percent of policy makers
adopt and implement AI and ML to its fullest potential, yet they
strongly believe autonomous technologies powered by AI and ML will
improve the way they protect and defend against security threats.
the past several years, our R&D efforts have been focused on ways to
out-innovate the most sophisticated security threats we could imagine.
That’s why Oracle Cloud Infrastructure was rebuilt with separation
between application and security processing and designed to run the
Oracle Autonomous Database. The Oracle Autonomous Database uses AI to
deliver the world’s first and only self-driving, self-securing and
self-repairing database that repairs, patches and updates itself,”
Screven added. “These and other Oracle cloud security technologies based
on machine learning can become the cornerstone of an organization’s
cybersecurity defense strategy.”
In addition to benefiting the state of data security in the U.S., the
majority of C-Suite executives (88 percent), policy makers (89 percent)
and the general public (77 percent) believe autonomous technologies will
also positively impact the U.S. economy, with “increased productivity”
cited as the top benefit.