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Worldwide security spending to top $150 billion in 2021

The strong growth is being fuelled by continued demand for remote working technologies

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Gartner has forecast that global spending on information security and risk management technology and services will grow by 12.4% to $150.4 billion in 2021. 

According to analysts at the research firm, the strong growth rate is being fuelled by continued demand for remote working technologies and cloud security due to the pandemic. Back in 2020, the segment grew 6.4%.

“Organisations continue to grapple with the security and regulatory demands of public cloud and software as a service,” explained Lawrence Pingree, managing research vice president at Gartner. “Looking ahead, we’re seeing early market signals of growing automation and further adoption of machine learning technologies in support of AI security. 

“To combat attacks, organisations will extend and standardise threat detection and response activities.”

According to Gartner’s 2021 CIO Agenda Survey, cyber security was found to be the top priority for new spending this year, with over 61% of the 2000+ surveyed CIOs responding that they increased investment in cyber/information security.

Security services - which include consulting, hardware support, implementation and outsourced services – represent the largest category of spending in 2021, at almost $72.5 billion globally, Gartner said. 

Cloud security, particularly cloud address security brokers (CASB), was found to be the smallest but fastest growing segment, with investment ballooning by 41.2% since 2020. 

Behind that, data security grew by 17.5%, infrastructure protection by 16.8% and identity access management was found to be up 15.6%.

“The pace of client inquiry indicates that CASB is a popular choice for cloud-using organisations,” Pingree said. “This is due to the growing popularity of using non-PC devices for interacting with core business processes, which creates security risks that can be mitigated effectively with a CASB. 

“CASBs also enable safer interaction between SaaS applications and unmanaged devices.”

Elsewhere, integrated risk management (IRM) technology was found to be enjoying strong double-digit growth (up 12.6%), which Gartner says stems from risks highlighted during the global pandemic. 

“Areas of significant risk driving near-term demand include the advent of new digital products and services and the related health and safety uses, as well as third-party risks such as customer data breaches or supply chain attacks,” commented John A. Wheeler, senior research director at Gartner.

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