Cybersecurity Spend on the Rise
Author: Dave Young
Not surprisingly, investments in Cybersecurity are on a significant upward trend in all categories. This past summer 2014, Gartner reported global numbers from businesses and governments that indicate they will have spent an estimated $71.1B protecting their information assets in 2014, up 7.9% from the previous year. The research firm also predicts the growth rate will increase to 8.1% this year, for an estimated total of $76.9 billion of spend in this area in 2015. This growth is expected to accelerate significantly from there, reaching an estimated $155.74 billion in spend by 2019.
As NET(net) reviews the IT spend of our clients, seeking opportunities for economic and strategic value optimization at their behest, we are noticing with increasing frequency, security products and services are rising towards the top tier of IT priorities, and that these investments carry with them significant costs and potential organizational risks, but increasingly, without much regard to plans or budgets, they must be made. With all the recent headlines about data breaches, cyber-attacks and cyber terrorism, what right-minded executive today is going to refuse approval of a thoughtful recommendation for a proactive Cybersecurity investment or an expense to plug a known security vulnerability?
Investments are accelerating in Unified Threat Management products to administrator, monitor and manage a wide variety of security-related applications and infrastructure components through a single management console, with increasing interest in solutions from Sophos, Dell SonicWall and Fortinet.
No security portfolio would be complete without protection from so-called Malware, a catch-all term to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software, including computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, scareware, and other malicious programs. It can take the form of executable code, scripts, active content, and other software. This is often the easiest and consequently the most common entry point into the network and often playing on the vulnerabilities of humans because we are either, well, human and trusting, or simply uninformed or naïve in the ways of malicious intruders seeking to gain access to our private information or as a springboard to launch into the enterprise network.
Often referred to as anti-virus products, Malware detection and prevention products also extend to email and web application protection, with healthy growth from our clients in product investments in companies such as Symantec, TrendMicro, Kaspersky and McAfee.
Without a broad and deep, and highly integrated enterprise security management framework, our clients are at risk of simply reacting to Cybersecurity threats and not taking a strategic and proactive approach to evaluating their risk profile, identifying their greatest vulnerabilities and making security product and services investments where it matters the most. In this category we are seeing a significant uptick in investments in supplier solutions that specialize in the consulting side of the security business with information security management and planning. Prominent among these suppliers in our experience include Accuvant and Solutionary, among others.
NET(net) is also observing more adoption of managed security services, with many enterprises coming to the realization they do not have, or cannot keep, the skillsets required to maintain vigilance on the Cybersecurity threats to the organization. Effectively outsourcing the services for managing such elements as intrusion detection and protection, access control, firewall management, identify management and email/web security, we are seeing more interest in comprehensive managed security services from the typical outsourcing and managed services firms, including IBM, AT&T, HP and Dell; with more activity from traditional offshore firms including Cognizant, TCS and Infosys as their offerings mature.
Spotlight is on Cisco
With its significant market share in enterprise networking and communications and a relationship with most every IT organization on the planet, we believe Cisco is the one to watch in this space. Cisco has been actively acquiring companies lately, especially niche security products and services firms in the past few years, which we believe represents its intent to fill out its security portfolio evidenced by recent acquisitions of Neohapsis (mobile and cloud security services), Sourcefire (intrusion protection and detection) and ThreatGRID (Unified Malware Analysis and Threat Intelligence), to name a few. We believe it would be unwise to dismiss Cisco in this space as there is no reason to doubt their chances of success as they work to integrate their security portfolio into their pervasive reach of network routers, switches and appliances, as well as VoIP, UCS servers and beyond.
Our studied advice is to consider Cisco in your evaluations of upcoming security investments to see where they might fit in. With NET(net)’s experience in the Cybersecurity product and services market, combined with our significant experience in optimizing Cisco environments and negotiating improved commercial arrangements and contractual agreements on behalf of our clients, we are your trusted partner in finding and achieving significant value in your important IT security related investments.
And with Cisco’s fiscal year end coming up in July, the time to act is now.
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