2023 CISO Leadership Perspectives

CISO Views on Top Priorities and Opportunities
March 2023

For the past several years, C-level security leaders have faced evolving and escalating cybersecurity threats. Security and data breaches have never been more visible, leading to an elevated role for CISOs in their organizations. They are now a part of broad risk management planning and regularly communicate risk to board members and other C-suite leaders. 

For CISOs, the number one enterprise goal is reducing risk for the second year in a row. As accelerating digital initiatives becomes more important to organizations coming out of the pandemic, CISOs have to help drive growth in a secure manner. As business leaders, they also have to be mindful of resources in an uncertain economic environment and ensure they have a pipeline of security talent or plan to fill gaps in skills.

Nearly 1,000 CISOs from our communities indicated their most critical priorities for 2023 in our annual survey – here’s what they reported. 

Prioritizing Cloud Security, Strategy & Architecture

For the second year in a row, CISOs are reporting that their top priority is cloud security, strategy and architecture. Moving up from fourth to second place is user access, IAM and Zero Trust. Incident response and ransomware – a new answer choice in the 2023 survey – made an appearance in the top five priorities for CISOs.

Measuring and communicating risk and third-party risk management continue to be top areas of focus for CISOs, as well, with those two issues remaining in the top five priorities for three years now.

Goals & Challenges

For their top priority of cloud security, strategy and architecture, CISOs cited the following goals they aim to achieve and challenges they are facing in 2023.




Allocating Resources

Despite the need to plan in an uncertain economy, 50% of CISOs report that their spending on technology and services will increase this year. Another 29% say that it will remain the same as 2022.


Investing in IAM/Multi-Factor Authentication

CISOs’ top priorities, such as cloud security and IAM/Multi-factor authentication – are also where they plan to allocate resources this year. 41% of CISOs report they will invest in IAM/Multi-factor authentication, and an equal percentage say they will spend on cloud security.


At Evanta, we survey our C-level communities annually to learn their top priorities, their challenges, and the goals they set for the enterprise. This data enables us to highlight trends, develop discussion topics and match like-minded peers based on the real-time needs of CISOs. Apply now to join your local CISO community, and connect with peers on these mission critical priorities.


Based on 980+ CISO responses from Evanta’s proprietary Leadership Perspective Survey, March 2023.


by CISOs, for CISOs

Join the conversation with peers in your local CISO community.