IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

AI’s Potential Security Risks Won’t Deter SMBs

Research from Zix/AppRiver finds a high level of interest in AI adoption among C-level executives and IT decision makers. By Colleen Frye

SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZE BUSINESSES, like their enterprise brethren, are looking to artificial intelligence (AI) to boost productivity and profitability, but may be unprepared for the security implications, according to the latest Zix/AppRiver Cyberthreat Index for Business Survey of more than 1,000 C-level executives and IT decision makers at firms with 250 or fewer employees, 74% of which have compliance requirements. Moreover, the survey finds that a majority of SMBs would adopt AI despite the potential security risks.

Among the entire nationwide survey base, which includes 14 vertical industries, 88% of SMBs cite a high level of interest in AI adoption. For larger SMBs (150 to 250 employees), the interest is a whopping 99%, while those with fewer than 50 employees come in at 80%.

Source: Zix/AppRiver Cyberthreat Index for Business Survey

Vertical segments that are most interested in AI are media and marketing (100%), technology and telecom (98%), financial services and insurance (95%), government (94%), manufacturing (94%), education (91%), and transportation and logistics (91%).

Yet 60% of the entire base of respondents say they are unaware of the security risks; among those most eager to adopt AI, that number is 68%. For all respondents, 28% are aware of the risks but plan to move forward anyway, 26% are not aware of the risks but still plan to adopt AI, and 34% who are not aware of the risks say they would likely reconsider.

All told, 54% of respondents, including 62% among those interested in AI adoption and a majority of IT decision makers in all 14 verticals represented in the survey, plan to proceed despite the potential security risks.

The report concludes that more education and awareness are needed. Channel pros, that’s where you come in.

Image: iStock

About the Author

Colleen Frye's picture

Colleen Frye is ChannelPro's managing editor.

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