Imposing outright bans on the technology may be extreme, but one survey shows IT decision makers had two sets of standards.

From a June/July 2023 survey of 2,000 IT decision makers across North America (USA and Canada), Europe (UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands), Japan and Australia, data showed that 75% of respondents were currently implementing or considering bans on ChatGPT and other Generative AI applications within the workplace.

The 61% of respondents deploying or considering bans indicated that the measures were intended as long term or permanent, based on their perception of risks to data security, privacy, and corporate reputation. Some 83% also indicated concerns that unsecured apps posed a cybersecurity threat to their corporate IT environment.

Also, 51% of the respondents recognized the opportunity for Generative AI applications in the workplace to increase efficiency, 55% noted the potential for facilitating innovation, and 52% noted the technology’s potential to enhance creativity. Additionally:

    • 81% of respondents remained in favor of using Generative AI tools for cybersecurity defense
    • 80% of respondents indicated that organizations were within their rights to control the applications that employees use for business purposes, while 74% indicated that such bans signal “excessive control” over corporate and Bring Your Own Devices users.
    • Consumer-grade Generative AI and other unregulated applications are yet to be secure, but corporations can consider evaluating enterprise-grade unified endpoint management solutions to control Generative AI risks

According to Shishir Singh, Chief Technology Officer (Cybersecurity), BlackBerry, which commissioned the survey, organizations need to have a cautious yet dynamic approach to Generative AI applications in the workplace, keeping a steady focus on value over hype, while exercising caution with unsecured consumer Generative AI tools:

“Banning Generative AI applications in the workplace can mean a wealth of potential business benefits are quashed.”

Singh noted that, as platforms mature and regulations take effect, flexibility could be introduced into organizational policies.

“The key will be in having the right tools in place for visibility, monitoring and management of applications used in the workplace.”

Shishir Singh, Chief Technology Officer (Cybersecurity), BlackBerry