Security spending will reach $75.4b worldwide: Gartner

Gartner has forecast worldwide spending on information security will reach $75.4 billion in 2015, which the research firm suggests is driven by government initiatives, increased legislation, and high-profile data breaches.

Worldwide security spending will reach $75.4 billion this year, a 4.7 percent increase over last year, according to the latest forecast from technology research firm Gartner.

"Interest in security technologies is increasingly driven by elements of digital business, particularly cloud, mobile computing, and now also the Internet of Things, as well as by the sophisticated and high-impact nature of advanced targeted attacks," Elizabeth Kim, research analyst at Gartner said.

Kim said this focus is driving investment in emerging offerings, such as endpoint detection and remediation tools, threat intelligence, and cloud security tools, such as encryption.

According to Gartner, increased legislation continues to be a driver for security spending in some countries, suggesting the increase in spending is also driven by government initiatives and the coverage of high-profile data breaches that have been revealed throughout the year.

Bill Franks, chief analytics officer at Teradata, said last month that a business cannot afford to wait until it has experienced a breach to act, saying that companies have to take security breaches seriously.

"Anybody with highly secure information, especially when you get into sensitive government documents -- it is almost a full on war of people trying to hack into that information versus the agencies trying to stop it. The same happens with private companies, even smaller ones," he said.

"You think that the bad guy hackers are going to call in advance to let you know they are about to come and steal some sensitive information from you so you can make sure your padlock is in place?"

The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revealed that in excess of 320,000 taxpayers may have had their personal information accessed as a result of a data breach that occurred in May. It was originally reported that thieves used the IRS' "Get Transcript" system to clear a multi-step authentication process, including several personal verification questions that typically are only known by the taxpayer, to access the personal taxation information of individuals.

In July, the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the federal agency in charge of vetting government workers for security clearance, was hit by its second breach of the year, leading to the theft of more than 21 million individuals' records.

The OPM's first breach, which allegedly occurred in April, affected approximately four million former and current civil servants.

Earlier this month, hackers infiltrated the systems of insurance provider Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, gaining access to 10 million healthcare records. It was the latest in a series of incidents involving healthcare companies, including the hack in February on Anthem that affected up to 80 million people, and the University of California Health breach, which saw the medical data of 4.5 million people exposed in July.

In one of the most publicised breaches of the year, around 37 million people were caught up in the Ashley Madison attack that saw the personal data of users of the extramarital affairs site, including credit card transactions, leaked online.

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