CAround half of global companies could routinely use specialist security providers to safeguard their business information within the next four years, analysts predict.

Technology forecasters Gartner say global business information security spending will grow by eight per cent before the end of this year, to total $71bn.  Security risk management, data protection and security infrastructure management firms stand to gain the most as businesses rush to protect their data, they say.

Corporate data loss prevention is the fastest growing segment of this booming market showing nearly 20 per cent annual growth, according to Gartner’s latest Security and Risk Management report.  Increasing use of mobile, cloud, social and other online media by customers to interact with companies produces ‘big data’ that becomes attractive to competitors and criminals to steal.  The rapidly-increasing amount of this data being produced by customers and clients will ensure that growth within these security fields continues at this rate for years to come, the report predicts.

Corporate financial records as well as businesses customer data remain largely susceptible to external theft where businesses lack the appropriate skills necessary to define, implement and operate appropriate levels of data protection.  Gartner believes that by next year, one in 10 corporates and 30 per cent of Small to Medium-sized Enterprises that use data security systems will do so via the cloud, to minimize on-site costs.  But the larger firms will go further than this and have a representative in-house, too. Within the next three years, a third of large businesses are expected to have brought on a full-time digital risk officer.

Mass data leaks in recent years have led to knee-jerk reactions by businesses in some sectors to contract security consulting firms that specialize in data protection and security risk management, both to plug potential holes in their systems and meet regulatory compliance demands.  Further growth is ensured thanks to increasing regulatory obligations and business compliance requirements that govern company data, such as data privacy legislation, particularly in Western Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

New rules are appearing in this sector on a regular basis, all of the world, with guidelines regarding personal information protection appearing in China last year, personal data protection laws introduced last year in Singapore and Malaysia and planned implementation of addition regulations within the EU Data Protection Directive. The US has long been the world’s foremost proponent of regulation in this area.

This summer saw the biggest recorded data theft in history when a Russian crime gang amassed 1.2 billion user name and password combinations and more than 500 million email addresses from around half a million websites.  Other notable company information business data thefts include:

  • worldbox110 million records – Target Stores in 2013;
  • 102 million records – Sony Online Entertainment Services in 2011;
  • 76 million records – National Archive and Records Administration in 2008;
  • 60 million to 250 million records – Epsilon in 2011;
  • 56 million payment cards – Home Depot in 2014.

Story from Worldbox Business Intelligence.