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As Companies Eye Generative AI to Improve Productivity, Two-thirds Admit to GenAI-related Security or Misuse Incidents

As Companies Eye Generative AI to Improve Productivity, Two-thirds Admit to GenAI-related Security or Misuse Incident in the Last Year

State of GenerativeAI Research from Portal26 finds that while optimism is high around GenAI, visibility, security, compliance, data and training concerns are significant issues in adoption

Portal26, the award-winning Generative AI (GenAI) visibility and data security tech leader formerly known as Titaniam, announced the results of a wide-ranging survey into the state of generative AI use among businesses. The survey—conducted in partnership with CensusWide—polled 400+ C-suite and IT professionals. Its results depict an environment in which companies are optimistic about the potential of Generative AI yet struggle to gain visibility into the operations of their AI programs, creating significant risks around governance, data security and more.


A whopping two-thirds of respondents admitted to a Generative AI security or misuse incident in the past year. Seventy-three percent have already experienced GenAI-related security incidents, and of those, 67% occurred within the last year alone. The newness of these programs is likely why. While the majority (84%) of respondents have invested or are planning to invest in GenAI, 71% of these GenAI operations were launched within the last two years, and nearly half (49%) were launched in just the last 12 months. Of those respondents whose businesses have adopted AI, 85% are concerned about its privacy and security risks.

A Wide Range of Risks to Overcome

The survey revealed a range of concerns surrounding GenAI that remain very much active and unresolved for businesses, including Shadow AI (unknown or unsanctioned use of GenAI), which sits at 58%, data privacy (56%), governance (63%), IP protection (62%), bias in training (55%), data security (60%), employee use of prompts (63%), employee training (58%), and rules and compliance both internal and external (64% and 62%, respectively). Data security is a particularly pressing issue for large organizations (5,000+ employees), 93% of which reported heightened concerns around Shadow AI. The reason for this is simple: the more employees a company has, the more potential entry points for a bad actor or inadvertent human error.

Optimism is High for Generative AI

Regardless of the risks, optimism for the benefits of Generative AI for their business is strong: 82% of respondents reported high confidence that GenAI grants them a competitive advantage.

As organizations strive for adoption, the survey provides an early glimpse into how businesses deal with these emergent issues. 80% have already instituted guidelines and policies around AI, an essential first step in safely enabling usage. Sixty-eight percent, meanwhile, have created and shared acceptable use policies to ensure that employees don’t inadvertently share private information or accidentally violate compliance mandates.

Investment in Education Lags Investment in Tools

From the responses, it is clear that companies are beginning to take the risks presented by inadequate visibility into GenAI very seriously. Virtually all respondents—99%—said that they have or are going to invest in a GenAI data governance tool for their company, and 0% said it was not being considered (1% were unsure). 33% already have such programs in place, and 32% are in the early conversation stages. At the same time, employee GenAI training is lagging behind technological developments, with most companies (58%) providing less than five hours of annual education and training on GenAI issues to their employees.

“With the widespread adoption of GenAI among corporations, we’re witnessing a massive experiment take place in real time,” said Arti Raman, founder and CEO of Portal26. “The benefits of GenAI are undeniable, but a lack of visibility will invariably lead to lower productivity and higher risks around security, Shadow AI, governance, privacy and more. As these survey results demonstrate, most of these GenAI programs are barely a year old, and a lot of foundation work will need to take place before corporations can comfortably reap all the benefits GenAI can offer. It’s heartening to see, per this survey, that so many companies are already acutely aware of the need for infrastructure around visibility, governance, etc., and are ramping up spending on related technology accordingly. This process is still in its early stages, and we can expect to see even more robust investment in visibility infrastructure in the months and years to come.”

Portal26’s new Artificial Intelligence Trust, Risk, and Security Management (AI TRiSM) SaaS platform enables unprecedented insights and analytics to support accelerated adoption. It provides the rapid deployment of governance and security to manage risk, all through the same platform. Through heightened visibility, real-time monitoring tools, granular data privacy controls and more, Portal26’s TRiSM platform grants businesses the security they need to reap the full potential of AI.

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