Cyber Protection Magazine and the it-sa Expo & Congress have a common goal – providing dialog platforms for IT security solutions for the largest common population..

Just as this trade fair covers the entire range of cybersecurity products and services, CPM does the same 365 days of the year. That’s probably why both organizations find a natural synergy and why we are the publication of record this year.

Our typical special issues focus on a single subject, but that’s hard to do this time.  There is too much going on in cybersecurity to separate one discipline or trend from the others.  And right at the top is the state of the market.

Security on the shelf

Cybersecurity seemed to be economy proof over the past decade and that is largely been true even today, but cracks are showing.  Large companies and government organizations are no longer easy sales.  Those customers that were likely to buy any product or service “just in case” are finding many of what they have purchased are incompatible with their networks or current protection systems, or they lack the personnel to implement them into the frameworks.  As a result, many of them have become “shelfware.”  The customers, as a result, are freezing or cutting security budgets as the give more scrutiny to the effectiveness of the purchases.

The investment community still has faith in the industry and are still funding many startups, but the favored companies are those that are targeting the 80 percent of the available market so far unreached — small to medium businesses (SMB).  These companies are harder sells for multiple reasons including but not limited to limited budgets and a demonstration that the providers understand the unique security problems those customers face.  That requires the providers to invest in marketing research and effective communication, two aspects of most businesses that are often ignored in the cybersecurity industry.

AI’s trough of despair

The industry was also caught up in the hype surrounding generative AI, which will probably be a hot topic at this conference as it has in many others this past year.  The launches of ChatGPT from OpenAI and Bard from Google have been fraught with premature claims rebuked by the presence of “hallucinations” in the output.  A controverial book, Not with a Bug but a Sticker, revealed that half of all commercial AIs have corrupted databases producing false results.  That became apparent with the rise of AI-checkers that produced many false claims.

Related:   5 effective ways to secure your home network

In the summer, OpenAI revealed they might have to declare bankruptcy without significant new investment.  Considering they already receive $10 billion from Microsoft, one might wonder how they define “significant.”

The future is bright

In spite of those depressing trends there is much to celebrate.  Cybersecurity awareness is at an all-time high and despite the growth of attacks, the percentage of successful breaches is, at worst, maintaining an equilibrium.  That is largely due to the industry’s educational outreach, training of new cybersecurity professionals, effective new technologies, and governments taking the funding of technology development, the  prosecution of cybercriminals worldwide, and legislation focused on supporting privacy and data. And while the there are fewer open jobs in the industry than last year, there are still thousands of unfilled openings in almost every developed nation.

The industry is experiencing it’s first growing pains, which only comes with maturity. We are looking forward to what the next year has for all of us.

Lou Covey
Editor

Lou Covey is the Chief Editor for Cyber Protection Magazine. In 50 years as a journalist he covered American politics, education, religious history, women’s fashion, music, marketing technology, renewable energy, semiconductors, avionics. He is currently focused on cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. He published a book on renewable energy policy in 2020 and is writing a second one on technology aptitude. He hosts the Crucial Tech podcast.

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