AI-powered malware is a growing security concern, CyberArk survey finds

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A new global report by cybersecurity firm CyberArk reveals that the intersection of challenging economic conditions and rapid technological innovation, including the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), is expanding the identity-led cybersecurity threat landscape.

The CyberArk 2023 Identity Security Threat Landscape Report, commissioned by CyberArk and conducted by market research firm Vanson Bourne, surveyed 2,300 cybersecurity decision-makers across private and public sector organizations with 500 employees and above in 16 countries. It found that nearly all organizations — 99.9% — anticipate an identity-related compromise this year, due to factors such as economic cutbacks, geopolitical issues, cloud adoption and hybrid working.

AI-enabled threats are a significant concern, with 93% of security professionals surveyed expecting such threats to impact their organization in 2023. AI-powered malware was cited as the top concern.

Sixty-eight percent of organizations expect cybersecurity issues driven by employee churn in 2023.


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Growing cybersecurity risk

As businesses continue to invest in digital and cloud initiatives to unlock efficiencies and drive innovation, cybersecurity is increasingly at risk.

The report also reveals that organizations plan to deploy 68% more software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools in the next 12 months. As a large proportion of human and machine identities have access to sensitive data via these tools, if not secured properly they can become gateways for attacks.

Eighty-nine percent of organizations experienced ransomware attacks in the past year, with 60% of affected organizations reporting making multiple payments to recover from these attacks.

The energy, oil, and gas sector appears particularly vulnerable, with 67% of companies in this industry expecting they would not be able to stop or even detect an attack stemming from their software supply chain.

Critical areas of the IT environment are inadequately protected, and certain identity types represent significant risk. For example, 63% of respondents said that highest-sensitivity employee access is not adequately secured.

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