The emergence of COVID-19 pandemic in January this year has not just resulted in work from home but also a significant rise in targeted phishing campaigns and malicious domains, resulting in cybersecurity being a top priority area with continued investments. According to research firm Canalys, in the best-case scenario, where investments continue to outpace the economy, the worldwide cybersecurity spending will grow 5.6 per cent. In 2019, the spending amounted to $40.8 billion, whereas in 2020 it is expected to reach $43.1 billion.
In the worse-case scenario, if the IT budgets come under serious pressure, the global cybersecurity market is still forecast to grow 2.5 per cent in 2020, amounting $41.9 billion. This assumes the maximum level of negative economic impact and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The shift to subscriptions will shield cybersecurity from immediate IT spending cuts, but additional expenditure will be affected for the rest of the year as organisations begin the next stage in their response to the pandemic. The switch from free trials to paid-for subscriptions will be a factor in maintaining cybersecurity growth. But the mix of cost containment measures, workforce reduction and cashflow issues will result in greater scrutiny of existing projects and smaller deals. Delays and cancellations of new initiatives will increase, except those that enable cost reductions and secure high-priority digital transformation initiatives," says, Matthew Ball, Chief Analyst at Canalys.
As threats and vulnerabilities persist and compliance, regulations and ecosystem requirements strengthen, cybersecurity will remain a top priority for most organisations in 2020. It underpinned the mass shift to remote working during lockdown by securing newly provisioned endpoints, providing secure access to corporate resources and extending perimeter defences beyond physical corporate networks.
2020 cybersecurity growth rates will vary by technology segment. Endpoint security will see high growth rates of up to 8.5 per cent, as remote working practices are extended, though momentum will slow after strong investment in Q1, especially in SMB customer segments. Network security will remain the largest segment, at 36 per cent of spending.
Organisations will have to boost spending in other areas of their security stack to address new vulnerabilities created by a more decentralised workforce through multi-layer prevention plus detection and response. This will incorporate web and email security, data security, and vulnerability and security analytics. Spending will also shift to cloud deployment options and securing cloud-deployed workloads, as organisations optimise business continuity measures and accelerate cloud migration.
"Large-scale remote working will be in place for a lot longer than previously envisioned when lockdown first took effect in March. While some employees will return to the workplace over the coming months, organisations will have to maintain a highly decentralised workforce that can work anywhere for the foreseeable future. This includes a combination of remote-only and flexible workers, as well as on-site-only workers that can quickly transition to remote-only working if a localised or national lockdown arises again," says Ketaki Borade, Canalys Research Analyst. Latest Canalys research for Western Europe, for example, forecasts the proportion of workers working from home regularly will grow from 12% pre-COVID-19 to 28% in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era.