Bulk of security sales will go through the channel

Forecasts from Canalys around the prospects for the year ahead make it clear partners have a crucial role to play in delivering security technology

There are signs that investors expect the cyber security market to hold up this year, and there will be continued business for the channel in that market.

Indications coming from leading vendors have led some market watchers to prepare for decent market growth in 2023, and research from Canalys has underlined the importance of security to the channel.

The analyst is forecasting that global cyber security spending will increase by 13.2% over the course of the year, with the need to fend off threats remaining a key concern for customers.

“Ransomware remains the biggest threat to organisations from an operational, financial and brand perspective, but the emergence and abuse of generative AI [artificial intelligence] models, such as ChatGPT, will increase the risk to another level in 2023,” said Matthew Ball, chief analyst at Canalys.

“This will enable and accelerate the creation of malicious code on an industrial scale by more threat actors, and increase the frequency and range of attacks. Organisations are already struggling to deal with current threat levels, and cannot afford to cut back on spending as it will leave them even more vulnerable. Instead, they will need to work more closely with channel partners to make smarter investments.”

Some of the technologies that will be in demand include: endpoint, network, web and email, data security, identity and access management, vulnerability, and security analytics.

Those pitching security can’t take orders for granted, and the economic conditions that are hitting other areas of the market will be seen in security, with orders taking longer to be signed off and customers likely to focus on priority areas rather than the “nice to have” options.

Cyber security services

Canalys is expecting that the delivery of cyber security services, including consulting, outsourcing, deployment, integration, maintenance and managed services, will grow by 14.1% to $144.3bn this year.

The focus of the past few years has been on fending off threats emanating from conditions caused by the pandemic, and the need for zero-trust and levels of protection around hybrid work environments will remain.

Srikara Upadhyaya, research analyst at Canalys, said the consequences of those conditions would send customers into the arms of channel experts.

“This will drive more consulting engagements for channel partners, as well as create opportunities around deploying and integrating multiple products from different vendors, while reducing operational complexity via managed services,” he said. “Overall, more than 90% of total cyber security product and services spending will go through channel partners in 2023.”

Those reliant on security sales are also sharing the same sense of optimism, with Paul Eccleston, UK and Ireland managing director at Exclusive Networks, recently telling MicroScope he saw room for more growth in the market.

“The UK and Ireland has been through pretty significant growth over the last couple of years, and that continues,” he said.

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