by Natasha Lomas

Analyst Gartner is projecting that worldwide spending on IT security products and services will grow seven per cent, year over year, to reach a total of $86.4 billion in 2017 — suggesting opportunities for security startups to tap into rising demand for specialist b2b services.

Within the infrastructure protection segment, the analyst is forecasting fast growth in the security testing market, though it notes this is coming from a small base.

Factors that Gartner points to as driving spending here include continued data breaches and growing demand for app security testing.

Another area it expects to contribute towards growth in the segment through 2021 is spending on emerging application security testing tools, particularly interactive application security testing.

The fastest growing segment will be security services, according to the analyst — especially IT outsourcing, consulting and implementation services.

By contrast it expects hardware support services to see growth slowing due to the adoption of technologies such as virtual appliances, public cloud and SaaS editions of security solutions — which it notes will reduce the need for attached hardware support overall.

Another factor it flags up as creating renewed interest in IT security spending — and data loss prevention buying decisions specifically — is the European Union’s incoming General Data Protection Regulation, which is due to come into force in May 2018.

The analyst reckons the incoming EU regulation will drive 65 per cent of data loss prevention buying decisions through 2018. And will also have a global effect as multinationals will also need to adhere to the new law.

“Rising awareness among CEOs and boards of directors about the business impact of security incidents and an evolving regulatory landscape have led to continued spending on security products and services,” said Sid Deshpande, principal research analyst at Gartner, in a statement.

Gartner also expects a big rise in the bundling of security services and broader IT outsourcing (ITO) projects with managed security service (MSS) contracts in the coming years — expecting this to rise from 20 per cent currently to 40 per cent by 2020.

It says this is being driven by large organizations wanting to manage “the complexity of designing, building and operating a mature security program in a short space of time”.

“As ITO providers and security consulting firms improve the maturity of the MSS they offer, customers will have a much broader range of bundling and service packaging options through which to consume MSS offerings. The large contract sizes associated with ITO and security outsourcing deals will drive significant growth for the MSS market through 2020,” it notes.

Despite some opportunities for new security-related technologies and services to cater to an expanding market, Gartner’s Deshpande argues organizations should be doubling down on “basic security and risk related hygiene elements” — citing the likes of threat centric vulnerability management; centralised log management; internal network segmentation; backups and system hardening as some of those key and core security elements which he says are now “more important than ever”.

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