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### Underutilization of Cybersecurity Investments: A Common Challenge

While organizations are slashing budgets across other departments, IT and security budgets are grow…

Expansion of IT and Security Budgets

Axonius reports that budgets for IT and security are on the rise to address the changing landscape of IT systems and the increasing risks posed by new tactics such as AI-driven attacks, even as organizations implement cost-cutting measures across various departments.

In fact, a significant majority of 63% of IT and security decision-makers have noted an uptick in their organization’s IT or security team headcount, with 74% also indicating a surge in budget allocations. However, those facing reductions in budget or headcount have experienced tangible repercussions: 51% have observed a surge in security threats within their organizations, while 49% have encountered an increase in attacks or threats.

Dean Sysman, the CEO of Axonius, emphasizes the critical nature of cybersecurity, particularly during periods of economic uncertainty, as underscored by their research findings. Nonetheless, simply inflating the budget or team size will not resolve all issues. It is imperative for organizations to focus on optimizing their existing solutions rather than squandering resources, especially as we approach 2024, a time when security budgets are projected to escalate once again.

The allure of artificial intelligence has captured the attention of survey respondents, with 85% expressing interest in integrating AI into their IT and security operations in the coming year. Moreover, 76% of decision-makers in this domain have disclosed that their organizations are funneling more funds into AI/ML compared to the previous year.

Apprehensions Surrounding Conceptual AI

Many businesses are drawn to AI due to its capacity to streamline security tasks. For 39% of IT and security decision-makers whose organizations have downsized their IT or security teams in the past year, the adoption of AI-based tools has been instrumental in simplifying operations to cope with reduced headcounts.

However, Sysman notes that current AI technologies still harbor numerous inaccuracies and errors that necessitate human intervention. While AI can alleviate professionals from mundane tasks, it is not devoid of flaws that require human oversight.

This concern is echoed by 72% of IT and security decision-makers who express apprehension about the potential security risks posed by relational AI models like ChatGPT. Despite its inability to supplant human experts entirely, relational AI can craft highly convincing emails, raising security concerns.

Although stress has long been a prevalent issue among security professionals, recent research indicates that 40% of IT and security decision-makers feel less fatigued compared to the previous year, while 66% remain unaffected.

Even with escalating budgets, cost efficiency remains a key focus for IT and security decision-makers globally. In the upcoming year, 8% prioritize enhancing cloud infrastructure, while 85% emphasize optimizing IT expenditures.

IT and security decision-makers are embracing change, adapting to evolving talent requirements and the advent of new technologies. The future of IT and security work is anticipated to witness a surge in demand for specialized skill sets (58%) and the integration of emerging technologies for enhanced security measures (58%).

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Last modified: February 5, 2024
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