Cybersecurity spending is expected to increase at a double-digit rate in 2021, driven primarily by the need to enable employees to work from anywhere. Gartner is forecasting worldwide spending on information security and risk management technology and services will grow 12.4% to reach $150.4 billion in 2021. That comes on top of a 6.4% increase in cybersecurity spending in 2020.
With organizations than employing software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud applications more widely, they are now moving to secure the platforms that were rapidly deployed to enable employees to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the COVID-19 pandemic starts to subside many employees will naturally be returning to the office, but few are expected to ever work in an office full time. Organizations are now investing in a range of security technologies to enable employees to work from anywhere within the context of a zero-trust IT environment.
In fact, a recent Gartner 2021 CIO Agenda Survey found cybersecurity was the top priority for new spending, with 61% of the more than 2,000 CIOs reporting their organizations will increase investment in cyber/information security this year.
Spending on security services constitutes the largest single segment of the 2021 budget ($72.4 billion), followed by infrastructure protection ($23.9 billion). The fastest growing segment is cloud security at 42% ($840 million). Gartner cites cloud access security brokers (CASB) as a major driver of cloud spending.
Gartner also says there are early signs of investment being made in artificial intelligence (AI) in security platforms as well.
A flood of security spending is clearly lifting all boats. Appreciation for the value of security has never been higher. Not only have so many employees been working remotely for the last year or more, but there have been so many new digital business transformation initiatives that need to be secured. Most of those initiatives involve mission-critical use cases that tend to attract a lot of the wrong kinds of attention from cybercriminals.Spending on security services constitutes the largest single segment of the 2021 budget ($72.4 billion), followed by infrastructure protection ($23.9 billion)Click To Tweet
Hopefully, as the amount of spending on security increases there will be a greater appreciation for all the individuals that manage security. Cybersecurity has finally become a team sport with security professionals working more collaboratively with both IT operations teams and application developers. There will never be enough cybersecurity expertise available any time soon. The only way to make up for the shortage is if the rest of the IT community pitches in. It won’t be too long before everyone involved in IT is to one degree or another going to be a cybersecurity expert.
In the meantime, cybersecurity professionals will need to deliver on the expectations that always come whenever there is an increase in spending. Cybersecurity professionals don’t get enough credit for all the disasters that would occur without them. However, as the increase in data breaches captures the attention of mainstream media outlets, cybersecurity teams will increasingly be asked to justify a return on all the investment. That may not always be fair given all the inherent challenges cybersecurity professionals face, but there will always come a day when someone wants to know what there is to show for every dollar spent.
Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb, and Slashdot. Mike also blogs about emerging cloud technology for SmarterMSP.