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Over half of UK IT decision makers unsure of what AI/ML technology means

September 2021 by Webroot

Webroot has released its annual AI and machine learning (ML) report which reveals how IT professionals perceive and use these advancing technologies in business. The report reveals that while 95% of UK IT decision makers use AI/ML, over half (58%) admit they are unsure what the technology means. Although understanding around these tools is increasing (64% of global respondents were unsure what AI/ML meant in 2020), this is happening at a significantly slower pace than the adoption rate.

This lack of understanding may be why the UK was the country where enterprises were most likely to cite incorrect tools as the reason they were unable to prevent a cyberattack in the last year.

With the UK out of lockdown and more businesses adapting a new ‘hybrid’ way of working, it’s never been more important for employers to leverage AI and ML tools to maintain cyber resilience.

And it’s clear from these results that businesses need to do more to ensure staff are properly educated on how to use the cybersecurity tools at their disposal effectively.

U.K. highlights of the report from enterprise respondents include:
- Only 44% of total cybersecurity tool spend was spent on tools that use AI and/or machine learning.
- Of those who suffered a damaging cyberattack in the past year, respondents blamed choice of cybersecurity vendor (39%) and employee negligence (36%) as the main reasons why they were unable to prevent it.
- 80% of enterprises believe they could be doing more to better defend against attacks.
- Nearly half (47%) of UK enterprise IT decision-makers plan to focus on increased AI or machine learning adoption in 2021.

U.K. highlights of the report from SMB respondents include:
- Just over half (51%) of UK IT-decision makers regularly back up their company data.
- Despite this, 38% of UK SMBs say their business’ data has been stolen or breached at least once.
- Two in three SMBs in the UK say they would likely or definitely stop working with a platform or service if their data were compromised through it.

Matt Aldridge Lead Solutions Consultant, Carbonite + Webroot, comments that “It’s clear from these findings that there is still a lot of confusion around artificial intelligence and machine learning, especially when it comes to the benefits of the technology.

But with cyberattacks and other data threats on the rise, coupled with the challenges of managing a remote or hybrid workforce post-pandemic, it’s crucial that businesses improve their understanding of these tools and pair them with backup and disaster recovery solutions. By doing so, they’ll be able to improve security, maintain cyber resilience and ensure service availability.

By vetting and partnering with cybersecurity vendors who have long-standing experience using and developing AI/ML, and who can provide expert guidance, businesses can close the gaps in their security and continuity lineups and protect against attacks and data loss.”

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