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Immuta's Annual Report Reveals Data Security Concerns Amid Rapid AI Adoption

Immuta, a renowned data security leader, has unveiled the findings of its fourth annual "State of Data Security Report," shedding light on the evolving landscape of data security in the face of rapid artificial intelligence (AI) adoption and the utilization of generative AI tools. The 2024 State of Data Security Report, commissioned by Immuta and conducted by UserEvidence, a customer voice platform, encompasses insights from 700 data platform and security practitioners at global cloud-based enterprise companies spanning the U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia. The report reveals that while organizations are actively adopting and utilizing AI tools, there exists a significant concern regarding the impact of AI on their broader data security strategies. Merely half of the respondents believe that their organization's data security strategy is keeping pace with the rapid evolution of AI. Remarkably, despite AI's recent surge in prominence, enhancing data governance and security controls is set to become a top priority for data teams in 2024. When questioned about the significant initiatives their companies plan to undertake in the next 12 months, a staggering 80% of respondents identified data security-related endeavors as their foremost priorities. These initiatives include implementing robust data governance and security controls and modernizing data architectures with concepts like "data mesh." In contrast, only 20% indicated that integrating AI into business processes would be a top priority. Matt Carroll, CEO of Immuta, highlighted the challenges data leaders face in balancing data security, agility, and visibility in the era of AI adoption, stating, "Without the foundation of a strong data architecture and data security strategy in place, it will be impossible for organizations to safely integrate AI into their processes. Business leaders must design AI-specific security strategies that include the right protocols and policies to protect data." Key findings from the report include:

  1. Artificial Intelligence Sparks Excitement and Security Concerns: The rapid advancement of AI and machine learning has generated enthusiasm and apprehension within organizations. A significant portion (88%) of data professionals reported that their employees are already leveraging AI tools to enhance productivity and streamline processes. However, more than half of respondents (56%) expressed concerns about the exposure of sensitive data via AI prompts, underlining the necessity for AI-specific security strategies and policies.

  2. Data Governance and Compliance Take Center Stage: Despite the prominence of AI, trust, security, and compliance continue to be paramount organizational priorities. An overwhelming 88% of data leaders believe that data security will assume an even higher priority in the next 12 months, surpassing AI. With 80% of data professionals indicating improved data protection capabilities over the past year, budgets and resources are likely to increase to address growing data security concerns in today's evolving threat landscape.

  3. Collaboration Is Crucial for Data Security: As organizations expand and manage increasing volumes of data, data security becomes both more challenging and critical. The report underscores the complexity of data ownership within organizations, as there is no clear owner of data security. Roles responsible for data security vary, with Data Privacy or Security Managers (19%) and Chief Technology Officers (15%) being the most commonly accountable. This lack of ownership hampers collaborative security management, resulting in teams operating in silos and insecure deployments.

  4. Data Access Remains a Security Challenge: Data access remains a significant security obstacle, with 33% of respondents citing a lack of visibility into data sharing and usage as their primary security challenge, leading to missed business opportunities. Simultaneously, 56% noted that data security processes slow down access to data, indicating that organizations are trading some level of data-driven value for essential security outcomes, such as agility for trust and compliance.

Immuta's "State of Data Security Report" provides valuable insights into the complex intersection of data security and AI adoption, emphasizing the need for organizations to strike a balance between leveraging AI's potential and safeguarding data against emerging threats.

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