Here’s What 10 Cybersecurity CEOs Are Prioritizing In 2023

From reaching customers that are buying security solutions in new ways, to fighting cybercrime and emerging threats alongside their trusted channel partners, here’s what some of the world’s biggest security CEOs are prioritizing this year.

Winning With The Channel

It’s not an understatement to say that cybersecurity CEOs in 2023 have their hands full. The world is coming off of three years of disruption, new demands on IT infrastructure, and oftentimes, geographically distributed end users. While it’s been challenging for the cybersecurity sector, it’s also been a time of unprecedented growth.

The increased attack surface across enterprises and SMBs alike presents a heightened risk of cyber-attacks, breaches, and bad actors looking to take advantage of the trends that have emerged in recent years, such as teleworking and hybrid work. But security vendors are used to both staying ahead of the threats and playing defense. Locking down their clients’ valuable assets, blocking ransomware attacks and boosting privacy are just some of the challenges that these companies have been handling right along. But they aren’t on the battlefield alone – these companies are working alongside their channel partners to take on emerging threats and to serve up security solutions in the new ways that customers are looking to buy.

As part of CRN’s CEO Outlook 2023 report, we asked the CEOs at some of the world’s biggest security companies to fill in the blank: My top priority for 2023 is…

Here’s what they had to say.

Barracuda Networks

Hatem Naguib, CEO

To continue empowering our channel partners through best-in-class products and solutions that are tailored to how our customers want to consume [tech] as standalone, part of solutions, or as a service offering. Our mission at Barracuda is to deliver innovative solutions that are easy to buy, easy to deploy, and easy to use. We will continue to give our channel partners the security-centric tools they need to best serve their customers.


Florin Talpes, Co-Founder and CEO

I co-founded Bitdefender over 21 years ago and my priority remains the same. To fight cybercrime. Our partners and customers inspire us each day. They trust us to help protect their most valuable digital assets, as well as their privacy and identity and, essentially their livelihoods. We take it very seriously. From consumers wanting to protect their photos, credentials and online privacy, to businesses needing to defend against ransomware attacks and governments concerned about citizen safety and whatever new security challenges come our way this year, Bitdefender will do its best to meet them head-on as the world’s most trusted cybersecurity company.


George Kurtz, Co-Founder and CEO

The CrowdStrike ecosystem. That’s our partners. It’s our customers. And it’s our people. We’re going to keep delivering and innovating the world’s premier cybersecurity platform. We’re approaching the market in new ways in 2023. We just brought on Daniel Bernard as our Chief Business Officer who leads our partnering organization. He’ll be working with our worldwide alliances team to evolve CrowdStrike’s channel program. He’s bringing an entrepreneurial and hyper growth perspective to how we nimbly and collaboratively unlock growth together with our resellers and service providers. This change allows CrowdStrike and our teams to focus on the channel in new ways and double down on winning together. Watch this space for exciting updates from CrowdStrike. There’s never been a better time to be a CrowdStrike partner. The opportunity in the market is now. And we have the right technology and team for CrowdStrike partners to win!


Ken Xie, Founder and CEO

To continue to invest in longer-term innovation and go to market initiatives to fuel future growth globally, validating our long-term commitment to our customers and partners. The strength of our business model includes a purposeful focus on diversification by customer type, geography, and industry. This strategy positions Fortinet for balanced and more predictable growth.


Eugene Kaspersky, Founder and CEO

The same as it’s been for the last 25 years: building a safer and more resilient digital world.


Tomer Weingarten, Co-Founder, CEO

My top priority for 2023 is to continue focusing on our customers and providing them with the best technology to protect their assets wherever they reside and critical infrastructure. To be their partner and collaborate to achieve the best outcome possible in the long journey of cybersecurity. This means staying ahead of the constantly evolving cyber threats and proactively adapting our solutions to ensure we keep our customers well-protected. To achieve better protection for our customers, we will continue expanding our protection portfolio and focus on securing cloud assets, user identities, and endpoint devices, as these are areas of cyber-attack most commonly exploited. Additionally, we will continue fostering a culture of customer-centricity, listening to our customers’ needs and achieving their goals together.

SkyHigh Security

Gee Rittenhouse, CEO

I have two priorities. The first is to ensure our clients along with our partners are getting the maximum value out of our portfolio. With our platform and our joint partner customer success teams, we’ll ensure our customers are realizing that value. The second is to simplify our platform as much as possible. We will minimize the number of steps to create a policy, import a policy, and import classifications to continue driving simplicity without sacrificing security.


Robert VanKirk, President and CEO

Giving our partners the tools they need to continue growing their businesses in a down economy. We’re coming off a number of record years, and that is due to our partners also having record years. As CEO, it has been my goal to better support our partner community by strengthening our relationships and ensuring alignment with their needs and challenges. The first step is ensuring that across the SonicWall team, we’re listening to our partners on a regular basis and their pain points, needs, direction, security requirements, etc.; then act on it. We’ll also be making some key updates to our SecureFirst partner program while providing new and updated training.


Orion Hindawi, Executive Chairman and former CEO

For our large strategic and GSI partners, our focus remains on current enterprise expansion and new logo acquisition through joint services and integrations, including integrations with tools from joint technology partners such as Microsoft. At the distributor and reseller level, we will focus on expanding the huge successes we achieved together in 2022 and will continue to drive activity focused on ramping their sourced business, including the upcoming launch of our global Tanium Risk Assessment campaign, which partners can begin to execute in February. We want to ensure customers continue to see us and our partners as go-to experts they can count on to solve their endpoint security and technology management challenges, as key counsel to help them strategically invest in high growth lines of business, and as trusted resources that can attract and retain the most elite talent in the industry. If we can come close to these goals, it will be a good year, but we plan on pushing well beyond our goals to make it a great year for our joint customers.


Prakash Panjwani, CEO

This one is easy! It is absolutely helping our partners to adopt the WatchGuard Unified Security Platform architecture. We have been working on our Unified Security Platform approach for several years and we enter 2023 with a robust product platform, backed by the most flexible business models in the industry. Our team is 100 percent focused on empowering our MSP partners to succeed, and we are going to leverage our platform in 2023 with our partners to help them provide customers with unparalleled products, services and support.