Businesses fear survival in 2024 due to AI cyber concerns

A Veritas survey uncovers that business leaders are anxious their organisation will not survive in 2024, prompting discussions over AI use in cybersecurity

New research from Veritas reveals that one in 10 business executives fear their business will not survive the next 12 months.

In a climate of ever-increasing cybersecurity threats and anxieties over emerging technologies such as AI, half of executives and IT teams say data security is one of the biggest threats facing their business.

With the number of cyberattacks like ransomware hitting record levels, Veritas highlights the extent to which there is fear that cybersecurity presents a very real threat to business survival, and how many businesses are fearful of their survival over the next 12 months as a result.

Uncertainty amidst the rise of AI in the cybersecurity sector 

Further research by Veritas has found that 13% of executives think their business won’t survive the next 12 months, with 37% citing that emerging technologies such as AI are one of the largest threats to their business. 

Other anxieties facing executives include economic uncertainty and increased data security threats compared to the last 12 months, with 50% surveyed by Veritas revealing that these fears include ransomware and data theft.

In addition, one in ten fear their organisation is hanging by a thread, with 13% of those surveyed doubting their company will survive the next 12 months. Two in five have highlighted economic uncertainty as one of the greatest threats to their business, given current high operating expenses for businesses causing less profit.

In Q3 2023, Veritas states that there were more than 6,208 company insolvencies registered in the UK alone, which is 10% higher than during the same quarter in 2022. As a result, the country is on track to record the highest number of companies going bust since 2009.

However, Veritas also found that it is not just economic uncertainty that is making UK-based businesses anxious. Executives and IT teams alike are fearful of the heightened dangers of data security threats, such as ransomware and data loss and theft, with half (50%) saying these are some of the major risks they face. This was followed by threats associated with emerging technologies, such as AI (37%). 

Whilst AI has huge potential to continue transforming key industries and help businesses achieve maximum digital transformation, if used for negative purposes it could become dangerous. If AI systems are integrated successfully into security tools moving forward, in addition to businesses becoming more cyber-aware, the technology could hold great enterprise value moving forward. 

Barry Cashman, Regional Vice President of UK&I at Veritas, says: “2023 has been characterised by a unique set of circumstances: almost unprecedented levels of economic uncertainty, the rise of AI, and cyberattacks such as ransomware hitting record levels.

“Businesses across the board report that they are experiencing rising levels of risk in all areas. Most (70%) say they are facing increased data security threats compared to the last 12 months. To tackle these threats head-on, it’s imperative to have a full understanding of the possible risks being faced and build out a robust business resiliency plan to protect your business.”

He continues: “Those that proactively prepare for external challenges will have the means to not only survive, but thrive in face of adversity.”

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