KUALA LUMPUR: Some 69 per cent of companies in Malaysia expect artificial intelligence (AI) to affect their workforce size over the next five years, surpassing the global average of 56 per cent, according to a research. 

According to Hays Global Security Report 2024, 39 per cent of employees in Malaysia expressed concerns that their company was not embracing AI sufficiently to stay relevant.

Hays highlighted that this aligns with a recent survey indicating that only 20 per cent of companies were providing AI tool training to their workforce, in contrast to 32 per cent of companies worldwide.

"This is slated to accelerate significantly in the next two years as 50 per cent of companies are exploring plans to train their staff within this period," it added.

Malaysia demonstrated a stronger emphasis on upskilling, with 48 per cent of local cybersecurity professionals indicating that over 6.0 per cent of budgets are allocated to talent development, in contrast to 26 per cent globally.

"Fifty-four per cent of professionals also expect their budgets to increase in 2024, higher than the global average of 40 per cent. 

"Despite this, 92 per cent of local respondents were more than slightly concerned that these increases would be insufficient," it added.

Hays Malaysia regional director Natasha Ishak said the cyber security  professionals worldwide are bracing for the impact AI will have on their abilities to safeguard data and infrastructure

"These tools benefit both organisations and criminals equally, and how teams can adapt to evolving attacks will depend on whether their talent has been upskilled sufficiently.

"Leaders must exercise prudence in deciding where to invest critical funds to keep cyber teams updated with the latest threats," said Natasha.

Although the current advancement seems to be gradual, leaders show a readiness to invest in the required training to equip cybersecurity teams with AI tools and to combat the latest threats.

"Professionals may wish to leverage this knowledge and table any opportunities for upskilling with their companies," she added.