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Security Execs Eyeing AI Cybersecurity Solutions in 2023, Netrix Survey Finds

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Security executives want more artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in 2023 to fight back against the increasing volume and sophistication of cyber threats, says a new report from managed security service and IT solutions provider Netrix Global.

In explaining the goal of the study, which included roughly 300 IT security decision makers, Netrix said:

“We conducted this study to learn about IT security concerns and priorities for the coming year, and understand both triggers for and barriers to investing in cybersecurity solutions. The survey was designed to uncover insights to support organizations both selling and buying IT products and services.”

AI a Favored Defense Tactic

The Netrix Global 2023 Cybersecurity Outlook Research Report found that 22% of respondents want more AI used in cybersecurity this year, nearly five times more than automation, which came in a distant second (5%), closely followed by threat detection, improved cloud security and authentication methods, each with 4% share respectively.

Commenting on the research findings, Netrix CEO Russell Reeder said:

“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.”

Here are some additional results from the study:

  • About 20% of respondents said “some or less” of their needs were being met by their current solution providers.
  • 32% of IT budgets are spent on outsourced or managed services.
  • 40% of respondents would not use MSSPs because their current solutions are working well.
  • 38% of executives said that an economic downturn would significantly influence their IT security spending this year.
  • 48% responded that their growing distributed workforce would have a significant influence, followed closely by supply chain issues (46%).

Said Reeder on distributed work forces:

“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.”

More Findings From the Report

Here's what else Netrix Global's research has to say:

  • 47% of respondents have already moved some cybersecurity initiatives forward in their planning so that they would be complete prior should a recession hit the economy.
  • 24% are proceeding with their 2023 cybersecurity plan timelines irrespective of the economic climate.
  • When asked which cybersecurity threats were most pressing, executives pegged malware (39%) as the threat that concerned them most.
  • Ransomware and data loss were identified as the second most ominous threats (37% each). Phishing attacks ranked sixth on the list, with 26% 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%) was their No. 1 risk.

Explaining why closing the IT and security talent gap is more pressing in 2023, Reeder said:

“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.”

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.