Here’s What 10 Top Cybersecurity CEOs Are Prioritizing In 2024

From expanding GenAI-powered innovation to working more closely with channel partners, here’s what CEOs from 10 major security vendors are prioritizing this year.

Priorities For Cybersecurity CEOs

In 2024, many top CEOs in the cybersecurity industry have some things in common when it comes their biggest priorities for the year. Not surprisingly, a focus on leveraging generative AI more heavily is a major focus for many leading cybersecurity CEOs — as is a commitment to working closely with channel partners. But to get to the top of the industry, cybersecurity vendors also need to bring an approach that is very much their own. As part of CRN’s CEO Outlook 2024 report, CEOs from 10 of the largest and most-influential cybersecurity companies revealed their top priorities for 2024.

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Among the CEO respondents were Cisco’s Chuck Robbins, CrowdStrike’s George Kurtz, Palo Alto Networks’ Nikesh Arora and Trend Micro’s Eva Chen. Many CEOs cited their focus on product innovation — including, but not exclusively, using GenAI — as a means to help partners and customers to improve security outcomes. The bottom line, noted SentinelOne’s Tomer Weingarten, is that cyber defense is all about “protecting business — and more broadly, our way of life.”

For CEO Outlook 2024, CRN asked the CEOs of major cybersecurity companies to fill in the blank: “My top priority for 2024 is…”

What follows are the answers provided by 10 top cybersecurity CEOs.

Chuck Robbins

Chairman and CEO, Cisco

Top priority for 2024: Flawless execution. We have a massive market opportunity in 2024 as it relates to AI and Security given the breadth of our portfolio and the history of our success. We continue to make significant investments across our entire portfolio, but AI and Security are two areas where we are doubling down. What's becoming clearer is that security and networking are inexorably linked. That's been Cisco's position from the beginning. If you want to be great at security, you need telemetry, you need access to a lot of data. Also, if you want to be great at networking, you need to be able to connect and protect everything in your infrastructure. Which is why I'm incredibly excited about our investments in this space with the intended acquisition of Splunk later this year.

George Kurtz

Co-Founder and CEO, CrowdStrike

Top priority for 2024: Delivering continued innovation that provides our partner ecosystem opportunities to expand their business and secure customers. Our industry-leading partner ecosystem has embraced the broader CrowdStrike Falcon platform, building long-term, differentiated businesses with CrowdStrike. In fact, in our latest quarter, 64 percent of new customers in the quarter were sourced from our partners. Our key strategic and focus partners are leaning into the CrowdStrike Falcon platform and the new capabilities that we have delivered – including cloud, identity and next-gen SIEM – and we expect this to continue as we bring best-of-breed solutions, such as Charlotte AI, to market in 2024. In the end, we want our partners and their customers to benefit from the most comprehensive, scalable and easy-to-deploy platform in the industry that stops breaches, and we will execute to make that happen.

Ken Xie

Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Fortinet

Top priority for 2024: Continue making Fortinet the No. 1 cybersecurity company in the world by combining the industry's best technology with forward-thinking innovation that ensures our customers' and partners' investments in Fortinet solutions will provide secure and adaptive solutions across secure networking, Universal SASE, and SecOps today and tomorrow. Equal to that is our commitment to maintaining a robust channel community in which our partners play an active role in meeting the needs of customers who have placed their trust in our ability to protect and enable them as they compete in today's digital marketplace.

Kevin Mandia

CEO, Mandiant, part of Google Cloud

Top priority for 2024: Empower partners through training and development to ensure they have what they need to be successful and go to market with us. Together, we can leverage emerging tech like AI to close the security gap for customers … The biggest market opportunity Mandiant and our channel partners will tackle together in 2024 is applying AI to security challenges. To support this, we're working with our partners and Google Cloud to bring to market the best Security Operations platform supercharged with AI and Mandiant Threat Intelligence and expertise.

Todd McKinnon

Co-Founder and CEO, Okta

Top priority for 2024: Security. The identity market continues to grow and evolve, with customers using identity in new ways and in all parts of their business. Customers need to trust their identity solutions with increasing security threats, breaches, and more applications, tools, and data in their ecosystems. We are doubling down on our investments in securing our company, products, and services to help our customers become the most secure organizations in the world.

Nikesh Arora

Chairman and CEO, Palo Alto Networks

Top priority for 2024: Position ourselves as the “cybersecurity partner of choice to both our customers and our channel partners.” I cannot talk about priorities without continuing to make our employees a continuing priority since that is the engine that drives our success—from a product and technology perspective, continued platformization and value realization to our customers driven by our best of breed solutions, integrated for our customers. Specifically, we continue our investment in XSIAM and SASE - while continuing to evolve the cloud security market.

Tomer Weingarten

Co-Founder and CEO, SentinelOne

Top priority for 2024: Speeding up detection. Building more resilient defenses. Fortifying infrastructure, and empowering our partners to continue to deliver world-class security to their customers. It's about giving insight across the entire enterprise, transforming raw data into decisive action, and automating outcomes so that they can move beyond protecting networks, endpoints, clouds and identities to protecting business — and more broadly, our way of life.

Joe Levy

President and Acting CEO, Sophos

Top priority for 2024: Work with MSP and channel partners to expand Sophos’ managed security services. Sophos MDR protects more than 20,000 organizations around the world, making it the single most widely used MDR offering globally. Cyberattackers have become increasingly sophisticated, industrialized and merciless. As a result, organizations need managed security services more than ever, and my number one goal for this year is to provide our customers security confidence with Sophos MDR and our layers of innovative solutions that deter and disrupt attacks before they cause harm.

Eva Chen

Co-Founder and CEO, Trend Micro

Top priority for 2024: To better utilize generative AI in our platform and across technical teams to empower customers to efficiently mitigate cyber risk. 2024 will see more investments in the AI-powered Trend Vision One platform, adding new modules and capabilities to continue to bring together XDR, threat intelligence, and attack surface management – delivering a single common framework where teams can work across hybrid environments and functions to effectively manage risks, drive better security outcomes and accelerate business.

Jay Chaudhry

Founder, Chairman and CEO, Zscaler

Top priority for 2024: Continue to broaden our customer base and drive scale - whether that's accelerating our innovation engine to further advance our Zero Trust Exchange cloud security platform or enhancing our go-to-market programs and enablement to support our partners. I view our partners as playing a critical role in our growth journey and I firmly believe that we have the right processes and programs in place to support and reward our partners for delivering exceptional security services and solutions to their end customers in 2024 and beyond.