With the range of cyber-threats set to broaden and the frequency of attacks unlikely to subside in 2021, the cyber security industry seems intent on offsetting such challenges, with spending to increase worldwide. 

The first half of the year will be affected by ongoing lockdown restrictions and furloughs in response to the pandemic. Covid-19 vaccine approvals and the start of mass vaccination programs have set a timeframe for reopening economies and a sustained global recovery from mid-year.

The global cyber security market is set to grow by up to 10% this year to top $60bn, as the global economy slowly recovers from the pandemic, according to the technology analysts at Canalys.

Double-digit growth from a base of $54.7bn in 2020  is Canalys’ best-case scenario. although even in the worst case, growth in cybersecurity spending  is predicted to grow by 6.6%. That would factor in a deeper-than-anticipated economic impact from lockdowns, although the security market has proven to be remarkably resilient thus far to the pandemic-induced global economic crisis.

The Canalys report addresses shipments of endpoint security, network security, web and email security, data security, vulnerability security analytics and identity access management (IAM). Their projections follow a big year in cyber security investment in 2020, with organisations across the world scrambling to contain the bombardment of threats seeking to take advantage of the great shift to remote working in the wake of COVID-19.

Despite such large spending, the number of data breaches and records being compromised, as well as ransomware attacks, reached an all-time high last year.  With enterprises adapting their infrastructure to new cloud architectures and new work configurations, the need to address potential vulnerabilities is taking on greater urgency.

Over 12 billion records, containing a range of personally identifiable information, were reportedly compromised in 2020, while the number of known ransomware attacks increased by nearly 60%.“The biggest threats are always those not yet known,” says Canalys chief analyst Matthew Ball. Canalys noted that this will be driven by “disparate technologies” converging “to secure persistent connections between users and cloud services.” Key points include:-

  • Web and email security (12.5%) will grow the most in 2021 with vulnerability and security analytics (11%) not far behind. Data security (6.6%).
  • Vulnerability and security analytics will see spending increase by up to 11%, with a focus on “expanding beyond logging and monitoring to threat intelligence, behavior analysis and automated response.”
  • Spending on endpoint security and identity access management, which is central to the growing zero-trust security market, is forecast to grow 10.4%, respectively.
  • The broader network and data security markets will see an 8% and 6.6% increase in spending, respectively, this year, with the former remaining the largest market segment overall.
  • Spending by small & medium sized businesses was hit hard last year, along with certain other sectors, including hospitality, retail and transport.

While Canalysy expect spending is to increase, so are data breaches and ransomware attacks. Human error continues to be a major factor, via misconfigurations of cloud infrastructure and susceptibility to phishing attacks. Mass remote working and learning in 2021 and the ongoing pressure placed on healthcare services will continue to expose these organisations to threats, it said. Furthermore,  the recent SolarWinds attacks highlight the continued unpredictability of the threat landscape. Amidst this volatile backdrop, organisations will need to adopt multi-layered approaches combining staff awareness training, data protection and threat detection and response, he said.

“Cyber security professional services engagements in response to this latest issue will be one of many factors contributing to sustained investment this year, especially in newer solutions to mitigate emerging threats… Growth in add-on subscriptions providing new features, products to secure the cloud and delivered from the cloud, and upgrades to existing solutions will be key drivers for expansion.” Ball said.

Network security (8%) are set to bring up the rear in terms of growth.Canalys forecasts web and email security will grow 12.5% in 2021, one of the highest growth segments, as disparate technologies converge to secure persistent connections between users and cloud services

Source: Cyber Security Intelligence