Cybersecurity’s Outlook for 2023: Talent Shortages, Database Management Struggles, and More

A new study has found that that 33% of all organizations surveyed experienced an operational disruption as a result of a cyber breach in the past year.

Cybersecurity’s Outlook for 2023: Talent Shortages, Database Management Struggles, and More

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A new report from Palo Alto Networks, titled “2022 Global What’s Next in Cyber Survey,” details how IT and business leaders view cybersecurity and new trends, such as zero trust, cloud security, vendor consolidation and more.

According to the Santa Clara, Calif.-based cybersecurity giant, 96% of all respondents were the victims of a cyber incident or data breach in the past year, and 57% saw three or more incidents or breaches. The study also found that a third of all organizations surveyed experienced an operational disruption as a result of a breach.

An overwhelming majority (84%) of executives agree that hybrid work has played a key role in the increase in cyber incidents over the past 12 months. Other factors cited for successful breaches include insufficient detection and response capabilities and the improving capabilities of bad actors.

Executives are largely concerned with their organizations’ security capabilities, as just 25% say they believe their readiness and resilience is high. When asked for their top three cybersecurity business properties and challenges, 96% cited a lack of skilled cyber professionals. Other challenges included an increase in data management and perimeter complexities, and security not keeping up with changes in the tech stack.

Top priorities included data protection and privacy, improving security operations and efficiency, and automation of threat detection and response.

While executives seem to understand the importance of cybersecurity, alignment with boards is still an issue. According to Palo Alto Networks’ study, nearly 90% of respondents say cybersecurity is on their boards’ agenda at least once a quarter, but lack of executive and board alignment and inadequate security governance across the organization is an issue.

According to the study, 62% of executives say their boards’ recognition of cyber risk has only marginally increased alongside the accelerated of digital transformation initiatives, and 37% cite a lack of executive alignment on prioritizing cybersecurity is a top three challenge across their organization. And, a third of executives say inadequate governance across the organization is one of their greatest challenges.

Palo Alto Networks also found that organizations across the board want to reduce the number of security solutions and services as managing different vendors and point solutions is creating security gaps. Per the study, 77% of IT leaders felt this way.

The study also found that 41% of organizations work with 10 or more cybersecurity vendors, and the total average of cybersecurity vendors used is 13.39, while the total average of security tools and solutions used is 31.58.

Interestingly, North American organizations use the fewest amount of vendors and tools, with averages of 9.86 and 22.70, respectively. On the flipside, EMEA organizations use the most, with respective averages of 15.65 and 37.19.

Surprisingly, no organizations said their cybersecurity budgets were going to decrease, while 68% expect their security budgets to increase up to 10%.

The study also detailed the challenges with implementing a zero trust framework, which the company says as quickly become an imperative for organizations. Organizations cite the growing supply chain and vendor ecosystem, improving attacks and the hybrid workforces as top reasons for adopting zero trust, but 98% of chief experience officers say implementing zero trust is challenging. They cite a lack of internal expertise, not knowing where to start and a lack of qualified vendors.

The survey also found that 50% of organizations are planning to increase investments in software firewalls in both public an private clouds as the number of cloud-hosted applications and services continues to grow.

Read Palo Alto Networks’ study for more information.


This article originally appeared in CS sister publication MyTechDecisions.com and has been edited. Zachary Comeau is TD’s editor in chief.

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