Managed services fuelling APAC security market

Spending on managed security services will account for almost half of Asia-Pacific’s cyber security market by 2023, as global and local providers shore up their offerings in the region

Cyber security spending in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region will grow by 20% in 2019 to reach $16.4bn, driven by the growing demand for security-related products and services by banks, governments and telcos, according to an IDC study.

Across industries, security services will be the largest and fastest-growing segment, thanks to the rising use of managed services to fend off and respond to cyber attacks. By 2023, managed security services will account for 46% of the security market.

Trailing managed security services is security hardware, which will account for 37.4% of overall security spending in 2019. Network security hardware will be the largest hardware segment, IDC revealed.

This is followed by software, which will contribute 23.2% to overall security spending in 2019 and is expected to grow at five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.1% over the forecast period.

Although financial services, telecoms and public sectors will account for nearly half of the total security spending ($8.03bn) this year, the industries that will see the fastest growth in security spending are state and local governments, as well as resource industries.

As for technology segments, IDC singled out network security as a key area that enterprises are spending more on, led by unified threat management and firewall technologies which will account for 80% of network security spending.

“Security capabilities and data protection are the prime concerns of enterprises and governments in their digital transformation pathway,” said Sharad Kotagi, associate market analyst at IDC Asia-Pacific, adding that banks, telcos and manufacturing firms are investing in security solutions that can integrate with existing systems to protect assets and processes.

“Governments in the region have increased spending on security solutions as they have to tackle various factors to make e-government services and digital platforms more sustainable and secure,” he added. 

The security market continues to see more business from large and very large businesses that will account for two-thirds of all security-related spending in 2019. Very large firms with more than 1,000 employees, in particular, will record the fastest growth in security spending with a CAGR of 20.9%

China is home to the biggest security spenders, accounting for 44.8% of total security investments in 2019. Led by telcos and government, this momentum will continue, with security spending in China projected to grow at a CAGR of 25.1%.

Simon Piff, vice-president for security practice at IDC Asia-Pacific, said: “We at IDC have been predicting the rise in managed security services, driven both by a need to refocus internal IT teams into core competitive technologies that drive business opportunity, as well as a lack of available skills in the markets.”

The growing managed security services market has drawn both global and local firms to spruce up their offerings in the region.

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In September 2019, Ensign InfoSecurity opened a new security operations centre (SOC) and its global headquarters in Singapore to tap the growing demand for managed security services in the Asia-Pacific region.

Through the new SOC, Ensign – formed from a joint venture between Singapore telco StarHub and government investment company Temasek Holdings in 2018 – hopes to speed up the time it takes to detect and respond to cyber attacks targeted at its customers.

Ensign currently operates in Hong Kong and Malaysia, and has customers in Brunei, Myanmar and Thailand. With about 500 cyber security professionals across the region, it plans to expand its footprint in South Korea and boost its headcount to 600 by 2020.

Earlier in the year, US telco CenturyLink opened its second SOC in the region, providing a gamut of services including distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation, incident response and threat intelligence capabilities gleaned from its global communications network.

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