Security Execs Overwhelmingly Call for More AI Innovations in 2023

AI Solutions in the Spotlight: Security Execs' 2023 Priorities Revealed

Surprising New Data from Netrix Global Provides a Glimpse into The Executive Mindset Regarding Emerging Trends in IT Security Spend and Priorities for 2023


CHICAGO – June 6, 2023 – Security executives are overwhelmingly craving more Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions in 2023 to help them battle the growing cybersecurity threat landscape according to a new primary research study from Netrix Global. The Netrix Global 2023 Cybersecurity Outlook Research Report found that 22 percent of respondents said that they would like to see more AI used in cybersecurity this year, nearly five times more than automation – which came in a distant second (five percent), closely followed by threat detection, improved cloud security and authentication methods (each with four percent share respectively).

“It’s clear that AI has started to reach maturity in the Gartner Hype Cycle and we should expect to see more unique uses of the technology across the cybersecurity industry in the near-term future,” said Russell P. Reeder, CEO of Netrix Global. “In fact, more than half of the executives surveyed said that they currently use AI and Machine Learning, but their appetite to increase use is high – particularly those at larger companies making critical decisions about where to invest for the future.”

Interestingly, when looking at other findings around spending decisions, security executives said that supply chain issues and the growing distributed workforce are likely to have a more significant influence on IT security spending in 2023 than the looming recession. The study found that a mere 38 percent of executives said that the looming recession would significantly influence their IT security spending this year. Instead, nearly half (48 percent) responded that their growing distributed workforce would have a significant influence, followed closely by supply chain issues (46 percent).

“Security becomes even more critical in times of economic hardship because businesses simply can’t risk a data breach and many businesses are opting to bring on a partner rather than increase their internal headcount,” said Reeder. “It’s not surprising that the distributed workforce continues to be a key focal point for executives responsible for managing the security budget. But on the flip side, it was interesting to see how much the ripple effect of supply chain issues are influencing IT security spend.”

According to the study, the biggest impact that a looming recession will have on executive planning will be timing. A significant proportion (47 percent) of respondents said that they have already pulled some cybersecurity initiatives forward in their planning so that they would be complete prior to the economic impact of a recession. Meanwhile, 24 percent of respondents are proceeding with their 2023 cybersecurity plan timelines as if there will be no recession ahead.

“These findings mirror much of what we’re seeing and feeling from our client base today,” added Reeder. “There’s certainly an increased sense of pace and urgency to move key cybersecurity initiatives forward faster – and we’re being brought in to help manage and drive that pace. Once again, the impact of emerging cybersecurity threats can be crippling to a business – particularly during an economic downturn.”

When asked which cybersecurity threats were most pressing, executives pegged Malware (39 percent) as the threat that concerned them most. Not far behind, both Ransomware and data loss were identified as the second most ominous threats (37 percent each). Phishing attacks ranked sixth on the list, with 26 percent of respondents tagging them as their top concern. When asked which software/application is most vulnerable to security threats, the largest proportion of executives said that email (28 percent) was their No. 1 risk.

“There’s a bit of a dichotomy in the data,” said Reeder. “It’s surprising to see that phishing ranks in the middle of the field of concerning cyber threats, yet email was listed as the most vulnerable software/application to security threats. Phishing attacks continue to get more sophisticated and targeted, with increasing risk as AI technology continues to proliferate and reach a wider audience.”

Another theme that was prevalent throughout the study was the pressing need for IT and security talent. The largest consensus (44 percent) of all respondents said that hiring qualified IT workers would be more of an imperative in 2023 than in previous years. Thirty-eight percent said specifically that they expect hiring qualified security experts would be a challenge in 2023.

“We’ve been talking about the talent gap in IT and security for some time now, and it’s starting to have a more significant impact on companies as they rely on technology to operate and secure their business,” added Reeder. “That gap widens as companies consider how to leverage AI in both their cybersecurity and IT operations but lack the internal talent or leadership guidance to make smart investments that will prove return.”

The research was conducted by global online market research firm Opinions 4 Good (Op4G), an expert third-party research firm.

For more details regarding the findings and to request a full copy of the study with additional data, click here.

Study Methodology

15-minute online survey targeting IT security decision-makers in firms of 500-10,000 employees. Job titles of CISO, CTO, CIO, Cybersecurity Executive, SVP of Information Security. Decision making experience included influencing or making business purchase decisions for information security and personally implementing or managing a team that implemented information security solutions at any company. Qualified IT professionals had 1+ years tenure at their current company and 10+ years’ experience in the IT security field at any company. A total of n=302 completed responses were collected between January 23 – February 8, 2023

About Netrix Global

Netrix Global is a leading global provider of cybersecurity and IT services that address mid-market and enterprise businesses’ most mission-critical IT needs through proprietary and managed solutions. Company experts establish themselves as trusted technical advisors for clients through a unique advise-deploy-run approach to each engagement. For more information, please visit and follow Netrix Global on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Media Contact:

Dan Brennan
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