Mena IT security spend to hit $1 billion, says Gartner

Gartner said total global information security spending would grow a further 8.2 per cent in 2015 to reach $76.9 billion.

By Issac John – Associate Business Editor

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Published: Tue 16 Sep 2014, 10:37 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:47 PM

Spending on information security in the Middle East and North Africa, or Mena, will reach $1 billion in 2014, an increase of eight per cent over 2013, as across the world spending will reach $71.1 billion, up 7.9 per cent, according to data released on Monday by Gartner.

Eric Paulak, managing vice- president research at Gartner, said a majority of the security projects currently underway and in the pipeline in the region is focused on improving the security operations and incident response capabilities of enterprise infrastructure. This is mainly in response to the recent spate of security threats faced by organisations in the Middle East, he said at a media briefing on the sidelines of the two-day Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit. Globally, managed security services (MSSP) forms around 35 per cent of all security services spending, but in the Mena region this is much lower at 16 per cent. Analysts said this indicates that MSSP as a deployment model is not as mature or sought after in the region compared to more developed IT markets.

“The lack of availability of skills in the market, coupled with the prevailing business scenario, means that the majority of enterprises rely on value added resellers and system integrators for their security requirements, thereby creating a lot of opportunity for those vendors that can align themselves with emerging buying segments,” said Paulak. He said the increasing adoption of mobile, cloud, social and information (often interacting together) will drive the use of new security technology and services through 2016. By 2020, 60 per cent of digital businesses will suffer major service failures due to the inability of IT security teams to manage digital risk. Digital business, powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), will disrupt the security organisation more than emergence of the Internet.

“This Nexus of Forces is impacting security in terms of new vulnerabilities,” said Sid Deshpande, principal research analyst at Gartner. “It is also creating new opportunities to improve effectiveness, particularly as a result of better understanding security threats by using contextual information and other security intelligence.”

The bigger trend that emerged in 2013 was the democratisation of security threats, driven by the easy availability of malicious software and infrastructure that can be used to launch advanced targeted attacks.

“This has led to increased awareness among organisations that would have traditionally treated security as an IT function and a cost center,” said Deshpande. Gartner said total global information security spending would grow a further 8.2 per cent in 2015 to reach $76.9 billion.

“There is a lack of penetration of security tools among users of new mobile platforms, and Gartner does not expect to see new demand for this type of capability to emerge before 2016,” it said.

Kaspersky Lab, a global leader in providing antivirus and internet security software for home and business, has claimed that its products were able to neutralise more than 34.9 million cyber attacks and malware infections on computers and mobile devices in the Middle East in the first quarter of 2014.

This represented an increase of almost 10 per cent year-on-year (2013’s figure was 31.6 million in first quarter). A study conducted by the Moscow-based company shows that although Internet-borne incidents increased in 2013, the majority of threats still originate from local networks and removable media.

In the first quarter of 2014, Saudi Arabia had the highest total number of local and online malware detections, closely followed by the UAE. Bahrain and Lebanon were the safest countries with the region’s lowest threat levels, according to data from Kaspersky Security Network.

More than seven million of these came from the Internet, while the remaining were blocked when they came from local sources such as USB drives and DVDs. These security incidents represent three per cent of the global total, Sergey Novikov, deputy director, Global Research & Analysis Team of Kaspersky, said.


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