Netskope: Gen AI use Accelerates, Raising Security Concerns

Netskope’s Report Found Over 10% of Enterprise Users are Accessing at Least one Gen AI app Each Month
Report From Netskope Highlights Rapid Growth in Enterprise Gen AI App Adoption and Also the Emerging Security Risks That Come as a Result

More than 10% of enterprise employees today are accessing at least one generative AI (Gen AI) application a month. But as the usage of these AI tools increases, a report has highlighted ongoing concerns around security risks associated with the technology.

The research by Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) leader Netskope has underscored the rapid growth in Gen AI app adoption in the enterprise, and also the emerging security risks that come as a result.

The topic of security and Gen AI is one of much discussion. An earlier report from Zscaler suggests that organisations are feeling the pressure to rush into Gen AI tool usage, despite significant security concerns. The report found that although 89% of organisations consider Gen AI tools like ChatGPT to be a potential security risk, 95% are already using them in some guise within their businesses.

ChatGPT the most popular Gen AI application for enterprise users

Netskope’s report found that more than 10% of all enterprise users are accessing at least one Gen AI app each month, up from 2% a year ago. In 2023, ChatGPT was the most popular Gen AI application, accounting for 7% of enterprise usage.

While Netskope expects the total number of users accessing AI apps in the enterprise to continue rising moderately, its report also identifies an emerging population of power users who are steadily growing their use of Gen AI apps. With use currently growing exponentially, the top 25% of users can be expected to increase generative AI activity significantly in 2024 as this group finds new ways to integrate the technology into their daily lives.

However as Ray Canzanese, Threat Research Director, Netskope Threat Labs explains, with growing AI app usage, employees are more likely to expose sensitive data like credentials, personal information, or intellectual property.

“For safe enablement of AI apps, organisations must implement reasonable controls and advanced data security capabilities while focusing on how employees can use AI productively,” he says.

Gen AI can be a tool for bolstering cyber defences

Gen AI apps can mean organisations are more likely to expose sensitive data, but according to a report from Dell Technologies, Gen AI is also emerging as a strategic tool for bolstering defences.

More than half of those surveyed by Dell said they thought that integrating Gen AI would provide an advantage to their organisation’s cybersecurity posture.

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