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June 29, 2022


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Kaspersky: more than half of companies in the Middle East and Africa use AI in their business operations

A recent Kaspersky study has revealed that more than 50% of companies have implemented Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) in their businesses’ infrastructures. Additionally, 33% are planning to adopt these interconnected technologies within two years. In the Middle East, Turkiye and Africa (META) region 55% of respondents have implemented AI and 34% are planning to do so, while IoT are used in 44% of organizations with 45% planning to use them. Business owners must ensure they have the right caliber of cybersecurity solutions to secure them, experts recommend.

Interconnected technologies are the growing network of devices, systems and applications connected to the internet and each other. They transform enterprises, enabling them to gather more data and automate processes. But they also bring new risks and challenges when securing business assets and safeguarding customers.

Kaspersky conducted a study ‘Connecting the future of business’, which aims to help companies stay ahead of the changes interconnected technologies bring, posing critical questions regarding the way cybersecurity must adapt to them. For this purpose, the company surveyed 560 senior IT security leaders from North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Turkiye and Africa, Russia and Asia-Pacific.

In this survey, Kaspersky sought to examine what respondents think of the following interconnected technologies:

•       Artificial Intelligence (AI),

•       Internet of Things (IoT),

•       Augmented reality (AR), Virtual reality (VR) and digital twins,

•       6G and converged cloud networks,

•       Web 3.0 which enables decentralized applications, blockchain smart contracts and user-managed data,

•       Data spaces that enable seamless data sharing in collaborative settings.

The research found that AI and IoT are already used by 54% and 51% of companies respectively (55% and 44% in META). One in three plans to adopt them within two years (in META 34% plan to use AI and 45% IoT). Data spaces are used by 32% of businesses, with nearly half (49%) intending to adopt them in the near future (the figures are 34% and 45% in META).

Other interconnected technologies (digital twins, AR, VR, web 3.0, 6G and converged cloud networks), are used by only one in five (20-21%) companies participating in the survey, but more than 70% are considering integrating them into their business processes soon. The figures are similar in META region, with just 6G and converged cloud networks being a bit different – 18% of respondents already use them, 80% have them in plan.

Because AI and IoT have become so widespread, they are vulnerable to new vectors of cyberattacks. According to the research, 16-17% of organizations think AI and IoT are ‘very difficult’ or ‘extremely difficult’ to protect (18% and 16% in META), while only 8% of the AI users and 12% of the IoT owners believe their companies are fully protected (9% and 14% in META).

However, as we can see, the less widespread the implementation of technologies, the more difficult it is for companies to protect them and vice versa. For instance, the least adopted AR/VR and converged cloud networks, are the most challenging technologies to protect in terms of cyber defense, with 39-40% of companies saying they are difficult to secure (37-38% in META).

“Interconnected technologies bring immense business opportunities but they also usher in a new era of vulnerability to serious cyberthreats. With an increasing amount of data being collected and transmitted, cybersecurity measures must be strengthened. Enterprises must protect critical assets, build customer confidence amid the expanding interconnected landscape, and ensure there are adequate resources allocated to cybersecurity so they can use the new solutions to combat the incoming challenges of interconnected tech. Businesses integrating AI and IoT into their infrastructure need to protect it with Container Security and Extended Detection and Response solutions, to detect cyberthreats at early stages and provide effective defense,” comments Ivan Vassunov, VP, Corporate products, Kaspersky.

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