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IT security spend to increase ... but is it enough?

IT security spend to increase ... but is it enough?

Worldwide spending on information security products and services will reach more than US$114 billion in 2018, an increase of 12.4% from last year, according to the latest forecast from Gartner. In 2019, the market is forecast to grow 8.7% to US$124 billion.

This growth is fueled by ongoing skills shortages and regulatory changes, according to Gartner researchers.

Siddharth Deshpande, research director at Gartner, said, "Security leaders are striving to help their organisations securely use technology platforms to become more competitive and drive growth for the business. Persisting skills shortages and regulatory changes like the EU's Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are driving continued growth in the security services market."

According to Tom Scholtz, Gartner fellow and research vice president, it is time to think differently about the advent of cybersecurity threats and the size of IT security teams.

In an article posted by the research firm, entitled Beat the Cybersecurity Skills Shortage, Scholtz is quoted as saying, "Digital business has changed the risk landscape permanently. Even in the unlikely case that there are no resource constraints, scaling up a centralised cybersecurity function as more and more threats emerge isn't necessarily the best way to protect organisations. Many routine security functions can be performed as well by other IT or business functions."

A 2017 Gartner survey revealed that the top three drivers for security spending are firstly security risks; then business needs; followed by industry changes.

"Privacy concerns are also becoming a key factor. Gartner believes privacy concerns will drive at least ten percent of market demand for security services through 2019 and will impact a variety of segments, such as identity and access management (IAM), identity governance and administration (IGA) and data loss prevention (DLP)," the research firm states.

Deshpande said highly publicised data breaches, like the recent attack on SingHealth that compromised the personal health records of 1.5 million patients in Singapore, reinforce the need to view sensitive data and IT systems as critical infrastructure.

"Security and risk management has to be a critical part of any digital business initiative," he said.

An increased focus on building detection and response capabilities, privacy regulations such as GDPR, and the need to address digital business risks are the main drivers for global security spending through 2019.

* Worldwide Security Spending by Segment, 2017-2019 (Millions of US Dollars)**

Market Segment




Application Security




Cloud Security




Data Security




Identity Access Management




Infrastructure Protection




Integrated Risk Management




Network Security Equipment




Other Information Security Software




Security Services




Consumer Security Software








Source: Gartner (August 2018)

 Vendor solutions

IT security solution vendors are mobilising their products in anticipation of an increase in both volume and level of sophistication in cyber security threats.

Cybersecurity research and endpoint security firm ESET has released a new line of endpoint security solutions the company claims "are designed to provide tools for prevention and management of cyber risks on a global scale."

The company cites research by Forrester which suggests that buyers want an "endpoint security suite that consolidates capabilities and minimises complexity when possible."

According to Kaspersky Lab's 'State of Industrial Cybersecurity 2018' survey, industrial and energy enterprises, as well as transport and logistics companies, have different opinions regarding the negative effects of cyberattacks on their industrial networks.

But, when it comes to the issues affecting their ability to keep networks secure there are three key concerns they can agree on; understaffing, underinvestment by senior management and the human factor. And with almost 40% of ICS computers facing attacks every 6 months, these cybersecurity gaps in critical infrastructure can significantly increase the risks for organisations.

"The task of protecting industrial networks often falls to those providing corporate information security. In 40% of manufacturing organisations, ICS protection is the responsibility of corporate IT security officers. Within transport and logistics companies, over half of those surveyed (58%) confirm that ICS safety is provided by a dedicated team working full-time to combat threats. Industrial organisations, especially those with complex technological processes, need highly specialised, qualified employees to fill the gap. For example, in the energy sector, where national critical infrastructure is managed with the help of ICS, the main challenge when it comes to security management (61%) is hiring employees with the relevant skills," the company states.

Edward Carbutt, Executive Director at Marval Africa, said in the wake of last year's surge of debilitating ransomware attacks, many businesses are investing heavily in cybersecurity technology.

"However, technology is only one of the components that make up a strong defence against cyberattack. Even with the right technology in place, organisations are still vulnerable to attack, and should protect themselves in other areas, too. For optimal cybersecurity, organisations can look towards addressing five key elements: people, processes, technology, change and culture."


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