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Is the future of cybersecurity automated?

By Max Burkhalter
October 22, 2020

Could many of your future tech and cybersecurity struggles be handled by a machine, rather than an IT professional? A new survey of workers in the cybersecurity industry conducted by the security advisory company Exabeam found that many believe so, and are worried for their future job security, TechRepublic reported. This line of thought comes as developers continue to find uses for artificial intelligence, or AI, in the cybersecurity realm.

A Divide by Age
One notable quirk of the Exabeam survey is that it found a divide between older and younger cybersecurity professionals on their thoughts on new AI technology. According to a recap of the findings by TechRepublic, a little more than half of survey respondents under the age of 45 agreed with a statement that "AI or ML [machine learning] are a threat to their job security." Only about a quarter of their counterparts over the age of 45, meanwhile, felt the same about AI and ML technology. While the recap noted that younger employees were more worried about automation forcing them out of work, it also pointed out that 89% of them said that it was currently making their jobs easier. Ultimately, 88% of responders in total said that they welcomed new technological innovation. 

In a press release accompanying its findings, Exabeam security strategist Samantha Humphries suggested some possible explanations for the age divide on the issue of automation.

"In trying to understand this sentiment [of automation-related anxiety], we could partially attribute it to lack of on-the-job training using automation technology… It's also possible that this is a symptom of the current economic climate or a general lack of experience navigating the workforce during a global recession," Humphries said, as quoted by the source.

Aside from its findings about the worries surrounding automated technology, the survey largely presented a positive view of the current state of the cybersecurity industry. Amongst its findings were that workers gave high marks for their current work, salaries and overall work/life balance, with each area earning positive marks from more than 75% of respondents.   

The Exabeam 2020 Cybersecurity Professionals Salary, Skills and Stress Survey is a part of an annual report series. It included responses from 350 cybersecurity workers in Australia, Germany, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S.

New Innovations
The Exabeam survey comes at a time when Cybersecurity companies are continuing to find new ways to implement AI solutions. According to reporting from CIO Applications, AI is beginning to be used to enhance multiple areas, including threat detection, vulnerability management and overall network security.

In large part, however, these innovations still require some human intervention to work to their fullest potential. For example, AI threat detection can increase identification rates to about 95%, but with the drawbacks of having many false positives. By combining the new technology with more tried and true approaches, however, near perfect threat detection can occur without false positives being blocked. For now, it appears that the cybersecurity industry still requires its workers to be successful.

For more information on all of the newest innovations in cybersecurity and beyond, continue to look to Perle Systems. To learn more about what Perle can do for you, read some of our customers' success stories.


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