Published on June 3, 2024, 2:10 am

Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enhanced malicious attacks have emerged as a top risk for enterprises in the first quarter of 2024, according to research by Gartner, Inc.

“The prospect of malicious actions enabled by AI-assisted tools is concerning risk leaders worldwide,” stated Gamika Takkar, director of research in the Gartner Risk & Audit Practice. The ease of use and quality of AI-assisted tools like voice and image generation increase the potential for harmful attacks with far-reaching consequences.

In Gartner’s survey, AI-related risks took the lead, with AI-enhanced malicious attacks at 80% and AI-assisted misinformation following closely at 66%. Other identified emerging risks included Escalating Political Polarisation (66%), Globally Consequential Elections (61%), and Misaligned Organizational Talent Profile (60%).

Takkar highlighted that the affordability and increased accessibility to AI technologies expose users with limited understanding of its operations, making it challenging to discern between accurate information and falsehoods. Malicious AI enhancements can facilitate activities such as phishing, social engineering, and deployment of malicious code, resulting in detrimental impacts on enterprises.

The prevalence of AI-enhanced attacks and misinformation poses a substantial threat to organizations’ reputations and operational efficiency, emphasizing the urgent need for proactive measures.

“The speed and sophistication of AI-enhanced attacks impede information security teams from effectively responding to these evolving threats, thereby exacerbating vulnerabilities,” noted Takkar.

Given the escalating risks associated with Generative AI capabilities in contributing to cyber threats, enterprises must remain vigilant and continuously adapt their security strategies to mitigate potential exposures.

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