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Cybersecurity investment tops budget priorities for 66% of CIOs

Global IT spending will reach $4.5 trillion this year, according to Gartner's latest forecast. While the economic climate is negatively impacting consumer markets, companies have reordered their priorities and continue to increase spending on digital business initiatives, despite the global economic slowdown.  

IT budgets started to rise in the third quarter of 2022 when Gartner reported that 76% of CIOs stated that their budgets had grown compared to the previous quarter. This trend continues today and companies are placing cybersecurity at the top of their budget priorities for this year, backed by slightly higher financial resources.  

The consulting firm found that 66% of CIOs plan to boost investment in cybersecurity and information security in 2023. This figure is considerably higher than the 40% who intended to focus on cybersecurity in their IT spending for the third quarter of 2022.  

Other priorities: optimizing business, addressing talent shortages and making the Cloud secure 

Growing IT budgets has not removed the pressure many organizations put on CIOs to leverage digital tools, reduce costs and avoid waste. Cost-saving was already the main focus in the third quarter of 2022 for IT managers. As a result, in addition to cybersecurity, they have channeled their strategies towards business optimization by increasing spending on business intelligence and data analytics (55%) and Cloud platforms (50%). 

The shortage of skills and qualified personnel continues to hinder the technology sector. According to the Gartner report, talent issues are ranked as the most common challenge IT projects faced during the third quarter of 2022, with 63% facing talent shortages and 54% reporting a lack of skills in their teams. 

In response to these shortages, companies are resorting to hiring external IT staff to implement IT solutions, support or managed services such as MSPs. This is reflected in the consulting firm’s forecasts, which predict a 5.5% growth in the IT services market this year.  

Following the trend of previous years, IT managers continue to work on facilitating hybrid work, which was already one of the top priorities for the third quarter of last year (53%). This encompasses the increased spending on Cloud platforms mentioned earlier. It is interesting to note that while a recent Red Hat report agrees with Gartner that organizations are paying more attention to cybersecurity, it also points out that this is largely due to the explosive growth of Cloud deployment over the past two years and the large-scale shift to remote working, which have introduced new security risks to corporate networks. Security was cited as a priority across a variety of technology categories, including Cloud infrastructure (42%), big data and analytics (45%) and automation (35%) in this work model. 

What is the reason for the increase in security budgets?  

Cybersecurity has proved the exception to the spending cuts that companies are making to cope with the recession. Some of the main reasons for the budget increases are: 

  • The need to protect organizations against changing security threats.  

  • Adaptation to regulatory changes and compliance.  

  • Executive boards are paying more attention to cybersecurity.  

These factors have not only driven up cybersecurity budgets, but also accelerate zero-trust adoption. In fact, according to Gartner, this posture will account for at least 70% of all new remote access frameworks by 2025, which is a huge leap from the figure of less than 10% last year.  

Today, customers, partners and stakeholders do not want to be impacted by service disruptions or the loss of trust that comes with a compromised system, which can be extremely detrimental to business. In today’s new work paradigm, companies have prioritized this security architecture, which can be achieved through a complete and comprehensive cybersecurity portfolio.  

WatchGuard's Unified Security Platform delivers comprehensive, end-to-end security. It gives company CIOs complete security that replaces the old patchwork approach and unifies the technologies needed to protect business networks on a single platform. In addition to providing comprehensive defense, this posture can optimize cybersecurity costs, as employees only need to be familiar with one platform instead of multiple interfaces, which is an advantage when facing a shortage of skills and qualified staff.  

From the hybrid work model to zero trust, increased spending on cybersecurity is critical for businesses to keep data secure and drive sustained success.  

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