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TickTockTech: Leaders cautious, yet optimistic about cybersecurity spend this year

May 24, 2023
By Matthew Caldecutt

Attendees at the recently concluded IT security-focused RSA Conference emerged with a positive outlook for the cybersecurity sector despite challenging macroeconomic conditions. New technologies are introducing new threats. In fact, there’s been a surge in at least one type of attack, leading to the expectation that cybersecurity budgets will remain stable or increase. Instead of developing technologies to combat what arises one threat at a time, the sector is beginning to shift its security approach to be more proactive and less reactive — beginning with a more comprehensive defense at the various entry points where issues can emerge.

During the official program and among those on site, a number of discussions were had about a key development: the impact of generative artificial intelligence (AI), as well as zero-day exploits (those being discovered well before vendors are aware), which contributed to the positive sentiment. Generative AI, for example, has been a boon to numerous industries, including security professionals. For them, like others, it’s a means for improving productivity. But, at the same time, generative AI makes it easier for new bad actors to emerge. Meanwhile, the increasing use of zero-day exploits due to the current geopolitical climate is something to which chief security information officers (CISOs) of large, international companies need to pay close attention. Anywhere you’re doing business is somewhere that you might be vulnerable.

Contributions made by businesses at the conference also provided an indication as to the direction in which the industry is heading, including:

  • The need to prevent threats such as the ones resulting from the employment of generative AI and zero-day exploits more holistically.
  • The benefit of platforms instead of point solutions, which could pave the way for more comprehensive strategies
  • The concept of extended detection and response (XDR), which is a natural outgrowth of a platform mentality – the ability to monitor across the board to prevent problems.
  • The need for unified security across systems – necessary to keep out miscreants before they can enter and cause issues. 

And while a broader perspective on security is necessary, the technology that plugs into various systems deployed by businesses was also a concern. In the coming year, it’s clear that how employees interact with systems and the information they need must be protected even more.

Overall, what’s happening in the world today clearly calls for keeping a careful eye out for what’s potentially going to be an issue down the line. As a result, IT security leaders are taking steps to create options that can be more easily used to look ahead and guard multiple entry points into what should be secure systems. Fewer and more comprehensive products will ultimately be where investments are made.