Romolo Tavani - stock.adobe.com
The cyber security market continues to evolve and grow, driven by the increasing reliance of business on information technology, the growing number of security and data protection regulations, the shift of crime online as criminals seek to make money from stealing information and committing fraud, and the increasing incidence of state-sponsored cyber attacks for a variety of reasons, including industrial espionage and the disruption of critical infrastructure.
Cyber criminals continue to professionalise operations and develop new ways of exploiting vulnerabilities in IT. Cyber criminals are focusing particularly on new and emerging technologies that organisations are adopting as they embrace digital transformation to cut costs, improve performance and support new business models and revenue sources to remain competitive.
In line with this trend, organisations are moving to the cloud and adopting a cloud-first policy for all new projects. As a result, more IT environments are becoming hybrid in nature and there is a proliferation of services and data within organisations. These changes in IT environments, together with the fact that more people are working from home in the post-Covid era, are all contributing to expanding the enterprise attack surface, making them increasingly vulnerable to attack because there is more for defenders to protect.
Cyber criminals also continue to exploit insiders to facilitate attacks using social engineering and other methods of manipulation or coercion.
As a result, cyber security has never been more challenging or important to business survival in terms of ensuring continued business operations, protecting against intellectual property loss, ensuring regulatory compliance, and protecting against the cost and loss of reputational damage associated with data breaches.
This makes the cyber security market relevant to businesses of all sizes in every industry sector. Analysis of this market and its evolution reveals several trends in cyber security technologies, products and tools.
Drivers of change
In terms of market trends for major cyber security technologies, the biggest single driver of change will be the move to the cloud by organisations seeking to benefit from the flexibility, speed and potential cost savings of this IT deployment model.
Other key market drivers include automation, machine learning and other artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, DevOps and DevSecOps, the shift to modern architectures using microservices and containers, and an increasing focus by businesses on cyber security and cyber risk mitigation.
Central, established cyber security technologies that are core to modern, forward-looking cyber security programmes are expected to grow and evolve as they continue to fulfil leading roles in cyber defence.
These established technologies include identity-related solutions, data access governance, endpoint protection, detection and response (EPDR), unified endpoint management (UEM), fraud reduction intelligence platforms, application programming interface (API) management and security solutions, database and big data security, and data leakage prevention (DLP).
In addition to these established technologies, there are emerging technologies and trends that are seeing rapid development and adoption and are therefore well on their way to becoming central to cyber security. These are technologies and trends that forward-looking organisations should be adopting, planning to adopt or at least have on their radar to ensure that their cyber defence strategy and capabilities remain up to date.
These emerging technologies include network detection and response (NDR), extended detection and response (XDR), security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR), secure information-sharing, security for business applications, cloud-delivered security, security operations centre- as-a-service (SOCaaS) and DevOps security.
As a result of changes in approaches to cyber security in response to changes in the threat landscape, in IT technologies and in the way businesses operate, two main organisational trends have emerged.
The first is the heightened role of the chief information security officer (CISO) and the second is closer alignment and integration between business continuity and cyber security teams.
Many of the trends within the cyber security market are in response to trends that are affecting the market. These include the Covid-19 pandemic, the shift to the cloud, increased home working, the adoption of a zero-trust approach to security, the maturation of machine learning and other AI technologies, and an increasing public demand for decentralised identity to give individuals more control over their personal data.
Other important areas of focus include cyber security competency building, supply chain cyber security, and identity-defined security.
The move to the cloud is perhaps the most significant. The adoption of cloud-based services has been accelerated by the pandemic and the increased need to support employees working from home.
As a key element of digital transformation, the adoption of cloud computing has impacted just about every IT market segment, including security due to introduction of new challenges around protecting hybrid cloud and on-premise business IT environments.
Finally, there are several non-technological trends around cyber security. These include a growing focus on developing cyber security skills within organisations, on securing supply chains to ensure business continuity and blocking cyber attacks through supply chain weaknesses, on expanding and raising the status of the role of the CISO, and on the benefits of restructuring operations to ensure greater alignment between the cyber security and business continuity teams to ensure continuity-focused technology investment, a shift to DevSecOps, and a greater focus on threat detection and response capabilities in the face of cyber attacks directly or indirectly by nation states or other adversaries with a similar level of technical capability.
All of these factors are driving the cyber security market, with cyber security offerings that support digital transformation, including cloud and mobile, detection and response capabilities, DevOps environments, and SOAR capabilities likely to see the greatest investment and growth.
What this means for business
Because business is not only dependent on IT to carry out day-to-day operations, but is constantly adopting new technologies to cut costs and to improve productivity and efficiency to gain a competitive edge, cyber security and the use of IT are inextricably linked.
Therefore, both end-user organisations and the IT industry, including cyber security suppliers, once and for all need to shift their perspectives to consider cyber security first and foremost as a business enabler. Business needs IT, but IT without security is worthless because the risk to business is too great. The challenge is to implement the necessary controls and safeguards in the most frictionless way possible, so that security never impedes business processes and initiatives.
This means that end-user organisations need to consider cyber security as a key factor in their technology investment decisions and technology suppliers need to build their products in such a way that they can be used safely by businesses and other organisations.
This dependence on IT means that the cyber security industry, like the rest of the IT market, will be among the industry sectors to be least affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, the cyber security industry is likely to benefit from organisations’ increased need to secure remote and mobile workforces as well secure cloud and hybrid IT environments due to increased adoption of cloud-based services.
Cyber security is one of the areas where virtually every business will need to invest because of ever-growing cyber risks and ever-tightening regulations. When considering the cyber security market in terms of future investments, it is recommended that organisations:
- Understand what technologies and capabilities are relevant to cyber security, how they fit in, and their functions.
- Map current security capabilities and identify the gaps that need to be filled.
- Adopt a strategic approach to cyber security to support business objectives to meet current and future security needs in a consistent way.
- Understand the business risks of cyber attacks such as system outages, data breaches and reputational loss, and prioritise those risks that need to be addressed based on their potential impact on the business.
- Re-evaluate existing security tools to identify gaps, which tools mitigate the real risks to the business, and which tools can be eliminated because they no longer serve any real purpose.
- Assume that breaches will happen to your organisation, and extend your focus from prevention and protection to detection, response and, most importantly, recovery to restore critical systems as quickly as possible.
- Adopt a zero-trust approach to security and implement several forms of authentication to ensure continuous identity verification to stop credential abuse and lateral movement by attackers.
- Evaluate AI-enhanced tools for decision support, cyber threat intelligence, anomaly detection, threat analysis and automated responses to help address skills shortages by augmenting teams and improving efficiencies.
- Ensure you have the tools to analyse incidents to identify any gaps or vulnerabilities that can be addressed to continually improve your cyber defence posture.
- Prioritise investments in security intelligence platforms, IAM, user behaviour analytics, security for DevOps, AI-assisted tools, security for OT and internet-of-things (IoT) environments, and integration of cyber security with business continuity management.