CISOs are spending more on cybersecurity - but it might not be enough

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Many businesses are allocating better budgets for cybersecurity, but the increases are coming at a somewhat slower pace - which unfortunately, won’t be enough to tackle the rising number of threats businesses are facing daily, new research has claimed.

The 2023 Security Budget Benchmark Report, a new annual paper that analyzes detailed cybersecurity budget data published by IANS Research and Artico Search, surveyed 550 Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) from different industries, and found the average increase in security budgets across verticals is 6%. 

While still positive in general, this represents a significant decrease from the previous budget cycle, when the increase was 17%. Overall, cybersecurity budget increases were cut by 65%.

Stopping hackers

The biggest decrease was observed among IT firms, which went from +30% growth in 2021-2022, to +5% growth this year. Furthermore, a third (33%) of firms completely froze, or cut, their cybersecurity budgets. 

It’s also worth mentioning that despite the grim outlook, cybersecurity budgets seem to be capturing a bigger piece of the overall IT financial pie. Since 2020, security spending, relative to IT spending, rose from 8.6% to 11.6%. Tech firms recorded the largest proportional spending - 19%. In other words, security is being prioritized over other IT-related expenses. 

However, researchers believe this still won’t be enough to stop hackers and other threats lurking in the treacherous waters of cyberspace: “The incremental growth in cybersecurity budgets is insufficient relative to the increases in scope facing security teams,” said Nick Kakolowski, Senior Research Director of IANS. 

“In the latter part of Q4 2022 and throughout 2023, many CISOs reported difficulty getting the resources they need, with some indicating outright budget freezes. With the recent public breaches at Clorox, MGM, and Caesars, we will be closely monitoring how companies approach budgeting for 2024. Our research indicates that organizations that adjust spending in response to major industry disruptions boost their budgets by 27%, on average.”

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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.