Cyber security, fuelled by AI, has become the top recruitment priority for the boardroom – with 38 per cent of business leaders seeing it as their biggest talent pain point, according to a new report from The IN Group. 30 per cent also listed AI-related cyber threats as the biggest threat to their organisation. According to a Deloitte report, more than 90 per cent of cyber security professionals are concerned that hackers will use AI in cyber attacks against their company.

The findings were revealed in the Tech and the Boardroom survey, commissioned by The IN Group and polled via independent agency Censuswide, observing the biggest talent challenges faced by 700 tech and non-tech C-level executives across the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands.

Almost half of C-suite executives (49 per cent) claimed generative AI was a direct threat to their organisation. Larger organisations, and CEOs in particular, saw generative AI as a bigger threat compared to smaller businesses, who felt they had other more pressing priorities.

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

Norma Dove Edwin, CDIO, Advisor and NED for HSBC Bank Plc and Pod-Point: “Technology continues to play a crucial role in businesses and can create significant value, in terms of the customer and colleague experience, growth and operational performance, when directly aligned with strategic objectives. To succeed, it’s crucial for business leaders, which includes C-Tech leaders, to have clarity on their strategic outcomes so they can build a synchronised view on where and how technology can create value, whether through GenAI, digitisation, digitalisation, automation or augmentation.

“The board 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,” added Edwin. “With this in mind, it is a positive step to see that 2/3 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.”

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

David Manfield, associate director for cyber security at Investigo, part of The IN Group, comments: “AI is currently fuelling cyber as the biggest talent pain point as AI continues to reshape the way companies operate. This report has clearly shown 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 as rapidly evolving innovations such as AI are presenting a significant threat, but also great opportunity across businesses.

Nick Baxter, CEO of The IN Group, comments: “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 impact AI and cyber threats pose to traditional working models means that the road ahead for business leaders is fraught with both high risks and substantial rewards.

“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 it be AI, cyber security or other areas. Tech-savvy people armed with the latest digital skills can drive business efficiencies and ultimately lead to wider growth.”

To read the executive summary, please visit:

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