Cybersecurity spending to hit $150 billion this year

The 12% bump in spending will be driven by ongoing demand for remote workers and cloud security, says Gartner.

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As cyberattacks ramp up around the world, businesses and other organizations will continue to shell out more money on security tools and technologies. In a report released Monday, research firm Gartner forecast that global spending on information security and risk management services will jump to $150.4 billion this year, a gain of 12.4% from last year.

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Gartner analysts pointed to a few trends responsible for this year's projected growth. Organizations that continue to maintain remote workforces will need to defend them from cyber threats. More companies migrating to the cloud will have to protect their online assets. And to be more effective, security will increasingly rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning

"Organizations continue to grapple with the security and regulatory demands of public cloud and software as a service," Gartner managing research VP Lawrence Pingree said in a press release. "Looking ahead, we're seeing early market signals of growing automation and further adoption of machine learning technologies in support of AI security. To combat attacks, organizations will extend and standardize threat detection and response activities."

Gartner pegged growth in spending across all areas of security, including applications, the cloud, data, identity access management, infrastructure protection, integrated risk management, network security equipment, security services and consumer security software. But the largest beneficiary will be security services with spending on hardware support, implementation, and outsourced services reaching almost $72.5 billion this year.

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Image: Gartner

Spending will also be high in 2021 on infrastructure protection at $24 billion, network security equipment at $17 billion and identity access management at $14 billion. Integrated risk management technology will see double-digit gains in spending due to threats that surfaced during the pandemic.

"Areas of significant risk driving near-term demand include the advent of new digital products and services and the related health and safety uses, as well as third-party risks such as customer data breaches or supply chain attacks," Gartner senior research director John Wheeler said in the press release.

One area where spending is small but growing fast is cloud security. In 2020, spending to secure online assets came in at only $595 million. This year, such spending will hit $841 million, a gain of 41%. In particular, cloud access security brokers (CASB) stand to see dramatic growth in spending.

"The pace of client inquiry indicates that CASB is a popular choice for cloud-using organizations," Pingree said. "This is due to the growing popularity of using non-PC devices for interacting with core business processes, which creates security risks that can be mitigated effectively with a CASB. CASBs also enable safer interaction between SaaS applications and unmanaged devices."

Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct the spending estimates for infrastructure protection, network security and identity access management as well for cloud security.

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