Sleeping with the Enemy? Majority of Businesses Identify AI as Their Top Cybersecurity Nightmare

A new study by RiverSafe reveals the paradoxical situation faced by organizations: the technology heralded as their greatest ally is also perceived as their biggest cybersecurity threat.

2 mins read

Key Takeaways:

  • An overwhelming 80% of cybersecurity leaders identify AI as the most significant cyber threat facing their businesses.
  • The fear of AI-related risks has even halted AI implementation in 76% of businesses surveyed.
  • A considerable number of businesses lack confidence in their capacity to protect against AI-driven cyber-attacks, underscoring the need for advanced cyber defenses.

AI: Friend or Foe?

Artificial intelligence (AI), once hailed as the harbinger of a technological revolution, is now being perceived as the biggest cyber threat by 80% of cybersecurity leaders. This startling finding emerges from a recent survey, titled ‘AI Unleashed: Navigating Cyber Risks Report’, which dives into the rising threat of AI in the realm of cybersecurity.

The research, conducted by leading cybersecurity professional services provider RiverSafe in collaboration with an independent polling agency, reveals the preparedness—or the lack thereof—of organizations in the face of AI-powered threats.

Fear Outweighs the Promise of AI

While AI holds immense promise in driving business efficiency and growth, the study found that 81% of respondents believe the risks of AI far outweigh the benefits it brings. This perception underscores the need to bolster confidence in AI development and implementation.

Matthew Scott, Police and Crime Commissioner, Kent, raised concerns around digitally-enabled crime, emphasizing that the benefits of AI should not overshadow the importance of proper checks, balances, and legal frameworks to protect businesses and the economy.

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The Halt of AI Implementation and the Crisis of Confidence

The study reveals a telling impact of AI-related fears: 76% of businesses have paused the implementation of AI due to the cyber risks associated with it. In addition, a small yet significant 14% of respondents confessed to a lack of confidence in their organization’s ability to defend against AI-driven cyber-attacks. These findings highlight the need for a quantum leap in cyber defense mechanisms to combat this new generation of threats.

The Ever-evolving Threat of AI Attacks

RiverSafe CEO, Suid Adeyanju, expressed concern over the rapid evolution of AI-enabled attacks, which puts pressure on businesses, regulators, and governments to continually update their cybersecurity measures. Balancing the need for AI development and maintaining security posture against the evolving threat of AI is a challenging task for security teams.

Supply Chain Threats: A Blind Spot

Alarmingly, less than half (45%) of the surveyed businesses reported having a system in place to review the security risks posed by their immediate suppliers. This lack of visibility in the supply chain highlights potential vulnerabilities and unmonitored entry points for threat actors, exacerbated by the emerging threat of AI.

RiverSafe CTO, Oseloka Obiora, emphasized the necessity for security teams to address these vulnerabilities and bolster their defense mechanisms, particularly considering the added fears that AI-powered threats pose.


The rapid evolution of technology, especially AI, presents both a boon and a bane for businesses. The benefits of AI are undeniable, but the increasing threat it poses to cybersecurity cannot be overlooked.

Companies must strike a delicate balance between embracing the advantages of AI and mitigating the risks associated with it. This calls for an evolution of cyber defenses and a heightened awareness of potential vulnerabilities, particularly in the supply chain.

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In the battle against AI-powered threats, businesses need to be proactive, adaptable, and vigilant. The future of cybersecurity lies in successfully navigating the paradox of AI – harnessing its power while thwarting its threats.

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