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Fear of AI threats could propel cybersecurity into becoming a $290 billion industry by 2027, as per reports

Fear of AI threats could propel cybersecurity into becoming a $290 billion industry by 2027, as per reports
AI-smartphones, AI-fridges, AI-this, AI-that.. it seems like we’re only a couple of years away from students using AI-powered pens to play pen-fight in their classrooms. However, as artificial intelligence protects us from the toil of day-to-day labour, what is protecting us from AI?

For instance, Tamil Nadu’s Cyber Crime Department recently issued an advisory notifying that scammers were beginning to employ advanced AI to impersonate the voices of distressed family members, in the hope that they manage to extract money out of the unknowing victims.

While the impersonation might seem ingenious on the fraudster’s part, this can still be considered a somewhat rudimentary tactic, when all things are considered. AI-tech, despite being in somewhat of a nascent stage, is already being leveraged to uncover major security breaches and inflict devastating financial losses to organisations, which can have a disastrous impact on them and their workforce.

“Organisations have learned how to cope with cyberattacks that deliberately target enterprise technology, such as networks, cloud storage, and endpoint devices. But AI is a game-changer,” David Bicknell. “Now, organisations must respond to AI attacks that can adapt to a specific environment, seek out weaknesses, and exploit them. This is uncharted territory.”

Anticipating such attacks, major tech giants have already begun ramping up their cyberdefenses. Despite this improvement, it will take another 2-3 “bumpy” years before these companies are sufficiently able to effectively counter such AI-led cyberattacks, notes GlobalData, a major data and analytics company, in their latest report.

The report, "Cybersecurity – Thematic Intelligence," notes that while AI will be instrumental in enhancing threat detection and incident response, the looming threat of AI-led attacks will remain overwhelming for a while.

However, this is not to say that companies aren’t doing something about it. The report notes that cybersecurity budgets are also on the rise, with the market likely to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13% till 2027. According to GlobalData, the cyberdefense industry will be worth a whopping $290 billion by 2027, with maximum growth in the security services, application security, and identity and access management areas. Even PwC’s projections reveal that cyber investments will comprise 14% of the total IT operational tech budget in 2024, three points higher than in 2023.

Major market public players within the cybersecurity theme include Accenture, Google parent Alphabet, Check Point Software, Cisco, Cloudflare, with Cybereason, Code42, ForgeRock, Illumio and LogRhytm expected to the be biggest private companies.

In fact, the report elaborates further that Cisco's recent $28 billion landmark acquisition of Splunk, with its focus on AI-driven cybersecurity solutions, is poised to catalyse a wave of mergers and acquisition deals centered on AI-led security technologies.

However, amidst the flurry of M&A activity, regulatory scrutiny looms large. The consolidation of cybersecurity firms, driven by both established players and private equity investors, has raised concerns about freedom of speech, market competition and potential anti-competitive practices. With regulators keeping a close eye on deals like Thoma Bravo's acquisition of Darktrace, the cybersecurity M&A landscape is fraught with regulatory challenges.

As organisations chart their course in this era of AI-driven cybersecurity, collaboration, innovation, and regulatory compliance will be paramount. The fusion of AI and cybersecurity presents unparalleled opportunities for defense and disruption alike, challenging industry stakeholders to adapt, innovate, and stay ahead of emerging threats.