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APAC security spending tipped to reach new highs

Security services will be the largest and fastest-growing slice of the overall security pie in the Asia-Pacific region

Spending on security-related hardware, software and services over the next four years is projected to grow faster in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region compared to the rest of the world, according to research by IDC.

In 2022, organisations in APAC, excluding Japan, will spend nearly $29bn to shore up their cyber security posture, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.7%, higher than the global figure of 9.9%.

Simon Piff, vice-president for blockchain and security research at IDC Asia-Pacific, said much of this growth will be driven by China, along with Malaysia, India and Singapore.

He added that China and Malaysia are investing more in cyber security to catch up with other countries, while security spending in Singapore is being driven by new cyber security legislation, as well as its status as a regional business hub.

Australia, a mature market, is also seeing growth in excess of a CAGR of 17%, while “Taiwan and Korea appear to be dragging their feet in this area”, said Piff.

According to IDC, security services will be the largest ($5.3bn in 2018) and fastest-growing (23.3% CAGR) slice of the overall security pie, thanks to growing demand for managed security offerings. This is followed by security hardware – in particular, network security hardware such as unified threat management and firewall appliances.

Across industries, banks and financial services firms stand out with the biggest investments in security, with spending slated to double from $2.1bn in 2018 to $4.5bn in 2022. Security-related services, led by managed security services, will account for more than half of the banking industry’s spending.

The second and third biggest spenders on security this year are likely to be in discrete manufacturing and government.

Swati Chaturvedi, senior market analyst at IDC, said apart from being the biggest data creators and consumers, the region is also undergoing infrastructural expansion, along with growing adoption of emerging technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) that run a greater risk of being exploited by cyber criminals.

“To secure data and insight is a highly crucial agenda that is gaining prominence in every private and public enterprise equally. All these factors have led to an exponential demand and growth of security appliances and services in APAC as compared to rest of the world,” said Chaturvedi.

Read more about cyber security in APAC

  • In the first full quarter since Australia’s mandatory breach disclosure scheme came into effect, healthcare providers reported the most data breaches amid controversy over the national health record system.
  • Singapore was a victim of advanced persistent threats, phishing and website defacements in 2017, according to the latest threat landscape report by the Cyber Security Agency.
  • Cyber resilience remains low across Southeast Asia, a regional economic powerhouse that is increasingly susceptible to cyber threats as its digital economy grows.
  • A joint steering committee will meet twice a year to address cyber security issues, among other measures to shore up Malaysia’s cyber security capabilities.

Like other parts of the world, APAC has seen a rise in cyber attacks in recent years. In July 2018, a public healthcare group in Singapore fell prey to a targeted attack that resulted in the theft of non-medical personal information of 1.5 million patients, including that of Singapore’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong.

In November 2017, the personal data of more than 46 million mobile phone users in Malaysia was reportedly leaked online in possibly the biggest data breach in the Southeast Asian country.

To fend off cyber attacks that fall through the cracks, the Australian government recently said it would form a cyber defence network comprising security agencies and private sector partners to support a more interventionist approach to cyber security.

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