RIYADH: Adoption of artificial intelligence in Saudi Arabia is likely to increase as executives plan to invest in the technology to bolster cybersecurity, a recent survey found.
According to the survey, conducted by the UK-based research company Censuswide and commissioned by US-based cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks, 94 percent of organizations in the Kingdom intend to increase their AI investments.
This move aims to enhance cybersecurity strategies, with 77 percent acknowledging AI’s crucial role in their overall digital framework.
“The escalating and increasingly complex cybersecurity challenges are prompting organizations to revise their strategies to enhance security postures and increase cyber resilience,” said Ercan Aydin, regional vice president at Palo Alto Networks, Middle East and Africa.
“It’s encouraging that business leaders in Saudi Arabia view AI as an important business enabler. Paired with cybersecurity practices such as strong policies, employee training, and an integrated platform approach, the opportunities are limitless for organizations looking to upgrade their cybersecurity with AI and machine learning,” he added.
The survey indicates a strong awareness among Saudi entities about potential cyber risks, with 87 percent of respondents understanding the threats and 91 percent believing their organization is prepared to handle them.
Despite this confidence, half of the participants observed an uptick in cyberattacks over the previous year.
A substantial 71 percent of CEOs consider cybersecurity a matter of board-level importance, with nearly half viewing themselves, alongside the chief information officer, as responsible for safeguarding their organizations from cyber threats.
The research further highlights a strategic shift in cybersecurity investment, with 69 percent of executives looking to increase funding in this area.
Conversely, 84 percent of respondents reported plans to streamline their security solutions to mitigate complexity, as confirmed by their respective companies’ chief information security officers.
This comprehensive study surveyed 502 CEOs in Saudi Arabia and the UAE from Sept. 20-28, 2023, adhering to the standards of the Market Research Society and the ESOMAR principles, under the oversight of The British Polling Council.