Unlocking the Power of Cybersecurity Automation: Insights from ThreatQuotient’s 2023 Research

Marc Solomon

Defined by relentless cyber threats and evolving challenges, the role of cybersecurity has never been more crucial. As organizations across the globe struggle with the ever-expanding threat landscape, the adoption of cybersecurity automation has emerged as a promising solution. This third annual survey conducted by ThreatQuotient, explores cybersecurity automation adoption and provides insights gathered from 750 senior cybersecurity professionals from the UK, US, and Australia. Join us as we summarize the key findings, and the compelling implications of this research.

Methodology: Seeking Truth in Numbers

To paint an accurate picture of cybersecurity automation adoption, ThreatQuotient partnered with independent research organization Opinion Matters in June 2023. Their mission was to survey 750 senior cybersecurity professionals from large enterprises (employing 2,000+ people) across five critical industries: Central Government, Defense, Critical National Infrastructure – Energy and Utilities, Retail, and the Financial Services Sector.

Foreword: Navigating the Uncharted Waters of Cybersecurity

In an era where the world is challenged with economic uncertainties and geopolitical tensions, the pressure on cybersecurity teams remains unabated. The digital realm is under siege from cybercriminals and nation-state actors armed with cutting-edge tools like automation and generative AI. While organizations navigate these treacherous waters, they also face the persistent resource challenge of safeguarding their operations within constrained budgets and limited personnel.

Over the past three years, ThreatQuotient has tracked the evolution of cybersecurity automation adoption as a solution to this challenge. The 2023 State of Cybersecurity Automation research reveals that organizations are increasingly relying on automation to address cybersecurity needs. The goals are clear: boost efficiency, adhere to regulatory requirements, and enhance productivity. Despite the budget constraints, organizations are committed to automation initiatives, recognizing its importance.

Yet, the study also uncovers a harsh truth: challenges persist, and they have grown. Every respondent admitted to experiencing difficulties in implementing cybersecurity automation. These range from trust issues when automating processes to slow user adoption, poor decision-making, and a deficiency in user skills.

This year’s study uncovers a sense of frustration with automation, revealing that it has not entirely fulfilled its promises. This sentiment aligns with industry observations, highlighting the relative immaturity of automation in the market. Users are still looking to find the right solutions to solve their unique challenges and to deliver the elusive ROI. Simultaneously, vendors are tirelessly innovating, both technically and in usability, to unleash the full potential of automation.

ROI: A New Perspective

In 2022, respondents were divided on the best way to determine cybersecurity automation ROI. However, in 2023, a resounding consensus has emerged: 61.5% assert that ROI is measured by team management, employee satisfaction, and retention. This marks a significant shift in how organizations perceive the purpose of investing in cybersecurity automation.

By relieving cybersecurity professionals of repetitive tasks through automation, organizations aim to elevate employee satisfaction and reduce turnover. High turnover rates were identified as a top challenge, especially in central government and critical national infrastructure organizations. This newfound focus on human-centric ROI has profound implications for automation solution vendors. The traditional focus on security, accuracy, efficiency, and productivity gains must now make room for non-traditional, human-focused measures.

Looking Ahead: The Promise of Human-Centric Automation

ThreatQuotient firmly believes that data-driven automation can effectively address both technical and human challenges in cybersecurity. Our research findings provide valuable recommendations to organizations seeking to navigate the intricacies of cybersecurity automation, enabling them to avoid pitfalls and reap the rewards.

We invite you to dig deeper into the insights and revelations offered by this report. As we collectively strive to bolster our cybersecurity defenses in an increasingly digital world, the path forward may be illuminated by the transformative potential of automation.



2023 Automation Adoption Infographic



The above provides a sneak preview of our findings; the full research report will be released at the beginning of November. We will share some valuable insights around how senior cybersecurity professionals are approaching the challenge of securing the extended enterprise in an intense and complex threat and operational environment.  We will also explore common use cases, typical challenges, barriers to adoption, cybersecurity maturity and more.

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About ThreatQuotient™

ThreatQuotient™ understands that the foundation of intelligence-driven security is people. The company’s open and extensible threat intelligence platform, ThreatQ™, empowers security teams with the context, customization and prioritization needed to make better decisions, accelerate detection and response and advance team collaboration.
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