The global cybersecurity market is booming says security expert John McLoughlin. Photo: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – The global cybersecurity market is booming, the demand for cybersecurity solutions is huge and security spend has already started outpacing IT spend.

Adoption in South Africa is not yet growing at the same rate, but there is a strong growth in interest and understanding the requirement to do more to protect themselves from cyber threats.

The demand for cybersecurity solutions is growing rapidly, businesses around the globe are investing heavily in security. Annual global cyber losses are expected to hit US$6 trillion by 2021, with cybersecurity spending projected to exceed a total of US$1 trillion for the five years leading up to 2021.

This is according to a report from Cybersecurity Ventures that suggests the immediate costs of a cyberattack can be significant, but the damage to a business’s reputation could cost just as much or even more in the long term.

With the ever increasing cybersecurity risks and regulations being introduced, business leaders are fast realising that there is more to be protected and serious penalties for not complying. According to the Worldwide Semiannual Security Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide spending on security solutions will achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2% over the 2018-2022 forecast period and total $133.8 billion in 2022.

The report says worldwide spending on security-related software, hardware and services is forecast to reach $103.1 billion in 2019, an increase of 9.4% over 2018.

More regulations and higher customer expectations has caused more companies to further invest in security and this will ensure that the market will keep expanding. The increased awareness levels of consumer privacy and protection of personal information has raised the bar for companies to improve their security.

Providing a secure business environment is every company's concern and cybersecurity must be an investment priority in every business, regardless of industry or size. However, it is a higher priority for information-based organisations like professional services firms, banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, telcos, municipalities and power utilities that appear to be ramping up their spending.

These industries are already experiencing paralysing attacks that stop critical services such as electricity and water supply. These crippling cyberattacks will ultimately result in increased spend as they cause unprecedented loss of revenue.

Security is taking on a new shape and is being integrated into new business initiatives and used as a competitive advantage. No one wants to be breached and once consumers are affected, they will fear working with companies they don’t trust.

As the world becomes more software-driven and new tech enters the security realm, cybercrime inevitably intensifies. This will grow the security market significantly, it will keep developing and growing and at an even greater rate than before.

IDC predicts the biggest spend will be on managed security services for monitoring and management of security operations centres. The next largest spend category is network security, which includes unified threat management, firewalls, and intrusion detection and prevention technologies. Other investments include integration services and next generation endpoint security software.

The security landscape is changing rapidly as businesses worldwide continue to struggle to maintain their own in-house security solutions. They are now turning to managed security service providers (MSSPs) to deliver a wide range of security solutions and consulting services.

To prepare companies against future attacks and to overcome the security challenges of tomorrow, they need expert analysis, predicative threat intelligence and advanced detection.

John McLoughlin is a security expert and chief executive of J2 Software.

BUSINESS REPORT