2023 AI in Cybersecurity Report [Enea, Arista, Zscaler]

Fueled by the remarkably human-like capabilities of ChatGPT and other generative AI tools released over the past year, AI has catapulted into the spotlight across nearly all industries, including cybersecurity. But does this heightened visibility mean AI is poised to transform cybersecurity, or is AI to some extent just the star of the latest technology hype cycle? To help answer this question, Cybersecurity Insiders surveyed its 600,000-member information security community to find out what CISOs and their frontline cybersecurity teams think about AI’s current and potential impact on their profession, and to discover the current AI maturity level of organizations based on team knowledge, AI strategy development, adoption of AI-enhanced tools, and current and planned budgets.

A foundational insight is that cybersecurity professionals believe the transformative power of AI is very real. An overwhelming 92% expect AI to have a major (61%) or moderate (31%) impact on the industry over the next several years, and most have ambitious plans to close what the survey reveals are significant gaps in their AI maturity level. Other key findings, grouped under the themes of fears, hopes, and plans include the following:


• Phishing & social engineering top the list of attacks AI will likely make more dangerous

• Rogue AI is a serious concern for a majority (77%) of cybersecurity professionals

• Offensive AI will develop faster than defensive AI according to most (62%)


• Better threat detection & vulnerability assessments are the most desired AI benefits

• Intrusion detection & prevention (48%) is the domain expected to benefit most from AI

• Cost savings is ranked as the number one KPI used to measure AI success (41%)


• Adoption is at ground zero or only in the earliest implementation stages for 61%

• Anomaly detection & network monitoring lead deployed AI/ML-enhanced functions

• Budget increases are expected by 68%, with 41% viewing AI as a high or top priority. For a panel discussion about the needs and concerns raised in this survey, we invite you to watch our on-demand webinar “Get Ready for the AI Revolution – Fears, Hopes and Plans for AI in Cybersecurity: Surprising Results from New Survey”

Many thanks to Enea, Arista Networks, and Zscaler for supporting this important research, with special gratitude to Enea for their invaluable contribution to this report.

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