India’s cyber security industry doubles in size amid pandemic

Revenues from cyber security products and services reached $9.85bn in 2021 thanks to rapid digitalisation and regulatory attention on data and privacy

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India’s cyber security industry nearly doubled in size amid the pandemic, with revenues from cyber security products and services growing from $5.04bn in 2019 to $9.85bn in 2021, according to a report by the Data Security Council of India (DSCI).

The growth was largely fuelled by rapid digitalisation, increased regulatory attention on data and privacy, as well as growing boardroom awareness around cyber threats, among other factors, said Rama Vedashree, CEO of DSCI, a data protection industry body set up by the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom).

At the same time, India’s cyber security workforce swelled from 110,000 employees in 2019 to 218,000 in 2021 even as talent shortages remain.

But it is not just large suppliers that are driving the industry’s growth momentum. India’s cyber security startup and product industry also saw robust growth, raking in revenues worth $1.37bn.

As a stronghold for IT services, India’s cyber security market is dominated by security services where services companies are leveraging their global expertise and experience in offering transformational and platform-based services.

From consultation to implementation and management of security controls and frameworks, services companies have imbibed security right from DevOps to ensure their clients and end-user data and privacy are protected, the report noted.

They have also expanded their global presence and set up security operations centres, cyber defence centres and R&D centres across the globe to serve their clients better.

According to the DSCI, global customers account for 80-85% of security services revenue with Europe and the US being the most lucrative markets, thanks to stringent regulation, higher security awareness levels and bigger cyber security budgets.

In addition, the two markets have more legacy technology being revamped and upscaled, driving more spending primarily in banking, manufacturing, energy, travel and transportation, it added.

“There has been tremendous growth in the services industry in terms of people, process and technology,” said Siddharth Vishwanath, partner and risk advisory and cyber security leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“The models of delivering services are advancing, creating platforms and assets that can automate certain portions of service delivery so that the number of people required to engage in repetitive non-value-adding work can be reduced,” he added.

India’s cyber security product companies are also spreading their wings through a network of channel partners, with the emergence of cloud-based delivery models further boosting their business in international markets, DSCI noted.

The Asia-Pacific region, including India, accounted for 58% of overall revenue generated in cyber security products while demand from North America was robust during the pandemic, almost doubling from 2020.

DSCI said business continuity, remote working, growing awareness around the threat landscape, and maintaining brand image were some of the key drivers fuelling the growth in demand for India’s cyber security products.

“Cyber security is now a boardroom agenda and offers tremendous opportunities for India’s tech industry to build innovative solutions and services,” said Debjani Ghosh, president of Nasscom.

“With enabling policies, an expanding skilled talent pool, domain expertise and a connected ecosystem with start-ups and academia, India is rapidly expanding its cyber security capabilities and emerging as the hub for all things digital with security and trust as its foundation,” she added.

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