Businesses in India are increasingly tapping the potential of artificial intelligence to defend themselves against cyberattacks, according to a new study by French consulting firm Capgemini Research Institute.

More than two-thirds of the respondents from India said that they will not be able to respond to cyberattacks without AI. The study surveyed 850 senior executives from information security, cybersecurity and IT operations across 10 countries and seven business sectors: consumer products, retail, banking, insurance, automotive, utilities, and telecom.

The report said organisations are increasingly counting on AI to help cybersecurity analysts, who cannot cope with automated, machine-speed attacks that cannot be neutralised through traditional response systems—43% respondents reported an increase in such attacks. AI-enabled cybersecurity is now an imperative as 56% of executives say their cybersecurity analysts are overwhelmed by the vast array of data points they need to monitor to detect and prevent intrusion, it said.

“Organisations are facing an unparalleled volume and complexity of cyberthreats and have woken up to the importance of AI as the first line of defence. As cybersecurity analysts are overwhelmed, close to a quarter of them declaring they are not able to successfully investigate all identified incidents, it is critical for organisations to increase investment and focus on the business benefits that AI can bring in terms of bolstering their cybersecurity,” Geert van der Linden, cybersecurity business lead at Capgemini Group said.

According to the report, one in five executives said their company experienced a cybersecurity breach in 2018. In 20% of the instances, the loss amounted to more than $50 million. “With the number of end-user devices, networks, and user interfaces growing as a result of advances in the cloud, IoT, 5G and conversational interface technologies, organisations face an urgent need to continually ramp up and improve their cybersecurity,” the report said.

Organisations in India use AI-enabled cybersecurity most for network security (71%), endpoint security (71%), identity and access security (60%), and application security (59%), cloud security (48%), IoT security (44%), and data security (55%).

Two in three organisations plan to deploy artificial intelligence to bolster their defence as soon as 2020, it said. Almost half said that budgets for AI in cybersecurity will increase in FY20 by nearly a third. And in terms of deployment, 73% are testing use cases for AI in cybersecurity, according to the study.

“Organisations must first look to address the underlying implementation challenges that are preventing AI from reaching its full potential for cybersecurity. This means creating a roadmap to address key barriers and focussing on use cases that can be scaled most easily and deliver the best return,” Anne-Laure Thieullent, AI and Analytics Group Offer Leader at Capgemini said.

“Only by taking these steps can organisations equip themselves for the rapidly evolving threat of cyber attacks. By doing so they will save money, and reduce the likelihood of a devastating data breach.”

The No.1 challenge for implementing AI for cybersecurity is a lack of understanding of how to scale use cases from proof-of-concept to full-scale deployment, says the report. It said that 69% of those surveyed admitted that they struggled in this area.

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