Cybersecurity market, reflections on the future

Pierluigi Paganini February 01, 2012

Just yesterday I was impressed by a news published on a web site that announced that global cybersecurity market will reach reach quote $61 billion this year, according to a report by UK-based consultancy Visiongain, an impressive amount of money that give an idea of the business. Since now we have analyzed the grows of the number of cyber threats that are affecting our digital life, it’s natural to expect a parallel expansion in the cyber security sector fro the mitigation of those adverse events.

In addition to the overt growth of the threats we are also seeing a more worrying phenomenon, technology evolution of the threats that changes each time adapting to the operational scenarios and to the growing criminal demand. While the recent economic situation forced serious cutbacks in IT spending, it has however intensified the focus of business enterprises on cyber security solutions in order to mitigate the effect of the cyber threats. Protect resources and asset from phisycal and logical prospectives is a must, minimize cyber crime that is able to induce financial losses with high cost of security breaches, and safeguard organization’s reputation, those are the main targets to reach.
The phenomenon we are discussing is not confined to some particular situations, but is following a trend across the planet, of course, with distinctive elements of growth in those areas with high technological risk for the presence of conflict or political conditions favorable to the development of cyber criminal context. The continuous use of advanced digital services by the users portends, on a time horizon of ten years,that the cyber security market will surely evolvs significantly. Markets such as Asia, especially China, and Middle Eastern ones are where we expect the highest value of investments.

Many times the risk factors have increased exponentially as the main sources of threats, cyber crime, warfare, hacktivism, different scenarios that contribute in the same way to the genesis of new and deadly threats that materialize from cyber space capable of immeasurable damages and lost of human lives in the real world.
Before anything is required to mediate a robust action, the implementation of measures to reduce the risks associated with exposure to the threat and this is only possible with considerable investments in this area.
Just on investment, although remaining in the same growth forecasts, we distinguish two different trends of growth for cyber security expenses, in a military/government field and industry/private business sector.
In the military sector investments are literally soared and this is not necessarily good indication that we are going in the right direction. The availability of large investments and the need to operate in emergency could cause waste of public money and favors the occurrence of corruption and embezzlement, as happened in Italy.
The private sector instead has experienced a period of swinging with respect to security investments. The contraction of the markets due to the global economic crisis has led to cut the costs of security, but the consequences of several attacks have led to a reassessment of the need to invest in the sector, bringing a boost to investment in security.

The two trends and the operation implemented must be analyzed in a single optics, it’s clear that in a critical context like security it is necessary to approarch the problem in a global view that involve all the actors in the decision regarding the countermeasures to implement. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) argues in a report aimed at the 2009 presidential transition, “It is undeniable that an appropriate level of cybersecurity cannot be achieved without regulation, as market forces alone will never provide the level of security necessary to achieve national security objectives.”

The message is explicit, the appropiate security level is reacheble only with specific and strutured action driven by a shared policy.

What are the markets that will benefit mainly in terms of security of these investments? In a hypothetical list, in light of the trends exhibited, I think the major investments will be observed in the areas of Government and Utilities also in Aerospace & Defense, vital sectors for any government.  Considerable costs can be observed in markets such as Telecommunications and Banking, these sectors are most vulnerable to cyber threats, at least this is my wish into consideration the level of risk faced by the major organizations working in this areas.

In my opinion the market, unlike others, can takes advantage of a factor that distinguishes it, the constant evolution of cyber threats, this fact leads to a continuous growth of supply in terms of quality and effectiveness, with two direct consequences

  • the difficulty to patrol a market in continuous evolution from smaller companies that often take drugs other markets with a poor and low-cost deals. We are thus confronted with a condition of prime market, a market to keep up with the criminal enterprise is forced to evolve, a market that evolves its products is alive and thriving economically.
  • the need for companies and governments to secure their assets from the threats, this requires investments that can not be postponed and fortunately the level of awareness in the field begins to be high.
Pierluigi Paganini


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