In 2004, October was declared Cybersecurity Awareness Month by the U.S. President and Congress to help users protect themselves and their personal data online, and to bring awareness to the increasing volume of cyberattacks. Phishing remains the number one type of attack – according to Comcast’s 2023 Business Cybersecurity Threat Report, 9 out of 10 attempts to breach their customers’ networks started with phishing. While these attacks are nothing new, phishing threats are growing in speed and sophistication as generative AI tools emerge. According to Foundry’s 2023 AI Priorities study, security and privacy concerns are the top two ethical implications to implementing gen AI technologies.

In recognition of the 20th Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) launched this year’s theme – Secure Our World, which is a cybersecurity awareness program that promotes behavioral change among users across the country. This campaign focuses on ensuring everyone has strong passwords, is turning on multi-factor authentication, can recognize and report phishing, and is updating their software.

For tech marketers, staying up to date with cybersecurity trends is key to understanding what is keeping your customers up at night and figuring out how to help them with their security challenges. Dive into a handful of security takeaways from our 2023 research studies to help you secure your marketing plan to reach security decision-makers this Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Key takeaways:

State of the CIO:

  • Security management was cited as the #1 activity CIOs spend their time focusing on in their role.
  • When asked how their involvement will shift over the course of the year, 70% of CIOs anticipated their involvement in cybersecurity to increase.
  • Increasing cybersecurity protections was ranked among the top business initiatives driving IT investments this year.
  • Cybersecurity was ranked as the #1 skill set CIOs feel is needed for new hires in 2023.

CIO Tech Poll: Tech Priorities

  • 61% of CIOs said that they are investing in cybersecurity tools to help alleviate the impact of the recession.
  • Secure access service edge (SASE) is among the top 3 technologies being actively researched by CIOs in 2023.
  • CIOs were asked to identify their single most important tech project that their IT department is working on this year, and cybersecurity topped the list.

Cloud Computing:

  • When asked about the obstacles slowing down cloud adoption at their organizations, IT decision-makers cited data privacy and security challenges as #2 and lack of cloud security skills/expertise as #3 on their list.
  • In order to successfully advance their cloud strategy, 34% of IT decision-makers say they need security expertise from their future and current cloud providers.  
  • Close to half of ITDMs plan to adopt cloud-based security over the next 12 months, and one-quarter rank it as a top cloud growth area.

Digital Business

  • When it comes to the digital business strategy of ITDMs, 40% cited that improving security was among their top objectives – they also noted they were further along on this goal than they expected.
  • ITDMs from this study were asked about the strategies they have in place to become a digital business – 93% cited plans for a data security protection strategy.
  • When asked about future investments, cybersecurity mesh was high on the list.

Foundry’s 2023 Security Priorities study, which explores more in-depth goals, technology uses, and challenges among security leaders, will be released later this month! Be sure to subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter, The Intersection, to get the results right away.