Throwing money at the problem? Security tech spending reaches $82bn a year

Organisations are spending more on more on cybersecurity as they try to fight off hackers, cybercriminals, and insider threats.

Cybersecurity spending has grown eight percent since last year, says Gartner.

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The threat posed by hackers and cybercriminals is proving to be a great financial opportunity for IT security companies: according to analysts Gartner, worldwide spending on information security is set to hit $81.6bn (£62.8bn) this year.

Gartner says spending on security products and services will grow eight percent year-on-year in 2016, as businesses attempt to spend their way to being secure in the face of the dual threat of both ever more sophisticated cyberattacks and a shortage of cybersecurity professionals.

While preventive measures like firewalls remain the top purchase for security professionals, spending on products that detect and respond to threats that have already infiltrated the network is on the up.

"Organisations are increasingly focusing on detection and response, because taking a preventive approach has not been successful in blocking malicious attacks," said Elizabeth Kim, senior research analyst at Gartner. "We strongly advise businesses to balance their spending to include both."

Given the shortage of cybersecurity staff, Gartner predicts that spending on secure web gateways and detection-and-response approaches will grow by another 10 percent by 2020 as firms look to plug the security gap and effectively detect threats. The analyst noted that targeted advanced threats and insider threats are areas which organisations are struggling to defend against.

Looking to the future, Gartner says the outsourcing of data loss prevention (DLP) is set to massively rise. Currently, half of organisations deploy DLP to address issues around regulatory compliance, intellectual property protection, data visibility, and the like, but analysts estimate that this will grow to 90 percent of organisations by 2018.

But while organisations are looking to newer security technologies, firewalls aren't showing any sign of becoming obsolete quite yet. Indeed, Gartner says that half of midsize and large organisations are set to add bigger, more advanced features to their network firewall by 2019.

As a result, the average selling price for firewalls is expected to increase by at least two or three percent each year until 2018 due to higher demand from the market.

While cybersecurity spending is set to reach a record level this year, it's likely that the figure is only going to rise for the rest of this decade.

Gartner has released its full predictions for security spending in its latest report, Forecast Analysis: Information Security, Worldwide, 1Q16 Update.

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