New SANS Institute Survey Finds Artificial Intelligence (AI) Viewed as Security Enabler for Cyber Defense, Malware Prevention and Advanced Threat Detection

Bethesda, Md. – Security Gets Smart with AI: A SANS Survey finds that artificial intelligence (AI) is still maturing but is perceived as a potentially useful tool for security. The new survey examines perceptions about the basic capabilities of AI for security and whether, how and when security experts will begin implementing AI for security.

Survey respondents indicated that at this time, they believe AI should exhibit five capabilities: discovery of data without human intervention, prediction and intelligent discovery, making outcomes recognizable and believable, automating processes and reacting as data evolves—all of which point to extending the current knowledge bases and identifying unknowns.

“AI has had a number of definitions and perceptions,” said SANS Senior Analyst Barbara Filkins. "The SANS survey of hands-on security practitioners indicates that there is interest in applying AI to support and extend a number of existing security tools, processes and technologies."

What can be done with AI, according to the surveyed group? The majority of respondents indicated that AI is best incorporated into predictive analytics, deep learning platforms and machine learning platforms. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they are using, or plan to use, AI, but only 35% have direct experience doing so at this time.

“SANS sees AI currently being driven by the growing interest and potential impacts of data science—how to analyze and interpret a flood of new data,” notes survey co-author and SANS Instructor G. W. Ray Davidson. “In this capacity, we see AI as an important development with lots of upside for security.”

Learn more about the potential uses of AI, future opportunities and more in a SANS webcast March 26 at 1 PM EDT with Davidson and Filkins along with senior product marketing manager Bret Lenmar of Cylance. Register now at and be the first to get the associated report of the survey data and SANS recommendations.

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Webcast: What's your view on #artificialintelligence for #security? Tune in for @cylanceinc recent SANS Survey with @RayDavidson | 3/26 @ 1PM ET |

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Webcast: How and when will #security professionals begin implementing #AI for security? See the results of @cylanceinc recent SANS survey with @RayDavidson | 3/26 @ 1PM ET |

About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. Today, SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of cyber security training and certification to professionals in government and commercial institutions world-wide. Renowned SANS instructors teach more than 60 courses at in-person and virtual cyber security training events and on demand. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates practitioner skills through more than 35 hands-on, technical certifications in cyber security. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers a master’s degree, graduate certificates, and an undergraduate certificate in cyber security. SANS Security Awareness, a division of SANS, provides organizations with a complete and comprehensive security awareness solution, enabling them to easily and effectively manage their ‘human’ cybersecurity risk. SANS also delivers a wide variety of free resources to the InfoSec community including consensus projects, research reports, webcasts, podcasts, and newsletters; it also operates the Internet's early warning system–the Internet Storm Center. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to support and educate the global information security community. (