The security market is set for a strong end to the year and a positive outlook for 2018, with those in the channel providing services in the best position.
Gartner is forecasting a 7% year-on-year increase in global security spending in 2017 with the sector generating $86.4bn in sales. That growth should continue into 2018, with the market hitting a value of $93bn.
The places where customers are investing included infrastructure protection, with security testing a popular area. DevOps will also drive a greater need for applications to be monitored more closely.
The fastest growing segment was security services, with those in the channel able to offer outsourcing consulting and implementation support the best placed to reap the rewards.
Managed security services will also become more blended with the offerings provided by MSPs over the next few years (see box).
Gartner sounded a note of caution about hardware services with that area coming under challenge from the growth of virtual appliances and the shift towards public cloud.
The security market is usually a strong segment given the need for customers to protect their data but the recent high profile breaches and ransomware attacks had also helped raise the levels of awareness.
"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.
The channel also has a role to play in continuing to educate customers about the basics of security to prevent further breaches.
"Improving security is not just about spending on new technologies. As seen in the recent spate of global security incidents, doing the basics right has never been more important. Organisations can improve their security posture significantly just by addressing basic security and risk related hygiene elements like threat centric vulnerability management, centralised log management, internal network segmentation, backups and system hardening," said Deshpande.
The forthcoming GDPR data protection regulations are also driving spending with Gartner expecting it to drive 65% of data loss prevent buying decisions through to 2018.
Blending managed security services
Gartner is expecting that by 2020 40% of all managed security services contracts will be bundled with other security services and broader IT outsourcing projects, which would be up from the current 20%.
To deal with the complexity of designing, building and operating a mature security program in a short space of time, many large organisations are looking to security consulting and ITO providers that offer customizable delivery components that are sold with the managed security specialists," stated Gartner.
In addition to customers expecting more from a managed service partner that analyst house is forecasting growth in the area because of the financial rewards available.
"The large contract sizes associated with ITO and security outsourcing deals will drive significant growth for the MSS market through 2020," the firm added.