In a recent study, cloud-native network detection and response firm ExtraHop unveiled a concerning trend: enterprises are struggling with the security implications of employee generative AI use.
Their new research report, The Generative AI Tipping Point, sheds light on the challenges faced by organisations as generative AI technology becomes more prevalent in the workplace.
The report delves into how organisations are dealing with the use of generative AI tools, revealing a significant cognitive dissonance among IT and security leaders. Astonishingly, 73 percent of these leaders confessed that their employees frequently use generative AI tools or Large Language Models (LLM) at work. Despite this, a staggering majority admitted to being uncertain about how to effectively address the associated security risks.
When questioned about their concerns, IT and security leaders expressed more worry about the possibility of inaccurate or nonsensical responses (40%) than critical security issues such as exposure of customer and employee personal identifiable information (PII) (36%) or financial loss (25%).
Raja Mukerji, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist at ExtraHop, said: “By blending innovation with strong safeguards, generative AI will continue to be a force that will uplevel entire industries in the years to come.”
One of the startling revelations from the study was the ineffectiveness of generative AI bans. About 32 percent of respondents stated that their organisations had prohibited the use of these tools. However, only five percent reported that employees never used these tools—indicating that bans alone are not enough to curb their usage.
The study also highlighted a clear desire for guidance, particularly from government bodies. A significant 90 percent of respondents expressed the need for government involvement, with 60 percent advocating for mandatory regulations and 30 percent supporting government standards for businesses to adopt voluntarily.
Despite a sense of confidence in their current security infrastructure, the study revealed gaps in basic security practices.
While 82 percent felt confident in their security stack’s ability to protect against generative AI threats, less than half had invested in technology to monitor generative AI use. Alarmingly, only 46 percent had established policies governing acceptable use and merely 42 percent provided training to users on the safe use of these tools.
The findings come in the wake of the rapid adoption of technologies like ChatGPT, which have become an integral part of modern businesses. Business leaders are urged to understand their employees’ generative AI usage to identify potential security vulnerabilities.
You can find a full copy of the report here.
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