Brian Sims

AI fuels cyber security concern as top tech priority for Boardrooms

CYBER SECURITY, fuelled by the growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI), has become the top tech priority for the Boardroom with 30% of business leaders now viewing it as their main concern. That’s according to a new report produced by The IN Group.

Hiring cyber security staff has been labelled as the biggest ‘talent pain-point’ for C-Suite executives, with 38% of them listing this as a key issue. According to a recent Deloitte report, more than 90% of cyber security professionals are concerned that hackers will use AI in cyber attacks against their company.

The findings are revealed in the ‘Technology and the Boardroom Survey’, itself commissioned by The IN Group and polled via independent agency Censuswide, and duly observe the biggest talent challenges faced by 700 tech and non-tech C-Suite executives across the UK, the US, Germany and the Netherlands.

Almost half (49%, in fact) of those C-Suite executives surveyed claim that generative AI poses a direct threat to their organisation. Larger organisations, and CEOs in particular, view generative AI as a bigger threat compared to smaller businesses, who believe they have other more pressing priorities in front of them.

Emerging technologies such as AI are driving C-Suite executives to take precautionary measures, with 30% of respondents sharing cyber as the most important consideration for extra funding.

Strategic outcomes

Chief digital information officer Norma Dove Edwin, advisor and non-executive director for HSBC Bank plc and Pod-Point, explained: “Technology continues to play a crucial role in businesses and, when directly aligned with strategic objectives, can create significant value in terms of the customer and colleague experience, growth and operational performance. To succeed, it’s crucial for business leaders, including C-Tech leaders, to have clarity on their strategic outcomes such that they can build a synchronised view on where and how technology can create value, whether that’s through generative AI, digitisation, digitalisation, automation or augmentation.”

Edwin continued: “The Board of Directors needs a transparent view and an understanding of the risks from C-Tech leaders to calibrate the investment and talent required to achieve their aims through technology. With this in mind, it’s a ‘positive’ that two-thirds of C-Tech leaders now report to the CEO, which will no doubt facilitate the necessary alignment of technology to the business strategy and the consensus on priorities.”

Demand for talent

The study findings show that, when it comes to threats, investments, skills and hiring, cyber and AI are most definitely the leading priorities in the Boardroom across both tech and non-tech business leaders.

David Manfield, associate director for cyber security at Investigo, which is part of The IN Group, commented: “AI is currently fuelling cyber as the biggest talent pain-point. AI continues to reshape the way in which companies operate. This report clearly outlines that security risks are fuelling a demand for cyber talent and the need to recruit candidates with specialist skills. Building a more diverse pipeline of tech talent is becoming a top priority, especially so as rapidly evolving innovations such as AI are presenting a significant threat, but also great opportunities across the business landscape.”

Nick Baxter, CEO of The IN Group, stated: “Against the backdrop of historically high interest rates, a pronounced digital skills shortfall and geopolitical tensions, CEOs and their executive teams have their work cut out. The seismic impacts AI and cyber threats pose in terms of traditional working models mean that the road ahead for business leaders is fraught with both high risks and substantial rewards part of the mix.”

Baxter added: “Increasingly, CEOs, CFOs and the entire C-Suite are becoming aligned with tech leaders on the core technology priorities for their business. Unlocking the power of tech talent should be a key focus for all organisations, whether talk turns towards AI, cyber security or other related areas. ‘Tech-savvy’ individuals armed with the latest digital skills can drive business efficiencies and, ultimately, help to generate wider growth.”

*The Executive Summary of The IN Group’s ‘Technology and the Boardroom Survey’ is available to view online at

**For further information concerning The IN Group visit

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