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IT security spending to hit $75.4bn in 2015 despite currency issues, says Gartner

Testing, IAM and sandboxing hot … endpoint protection ain't

Worldwide spending on information security will reach $75.4bn in 2015 – an increase of 4.7 per cent over 2014 – despite a currency-driven price hike causing some customers to delay purchases until next year.

Government initiatives, increased legislation and high-profile data breaches are the hot topics shaping the latest forecast from Gartner.

Security testing, IT outsourcing, and identity and access management are among the cyber-security areas poised for the most significant growth.

By contrast, endpoint protection platforms and consumer security software is becoming commoditised, leading Gartner to downgrade spending forecasts in these segments (bad news for the likes of Symantec, AVG and others).

The bulk of the security software market is composed of mature technology areas where the penetration rate is already high, limiting the potential for further growth even in the face of growing security threats.

"Interest in security technologies is increasingly driven by elements of digital business, particularly cloud, mobile computing and now also the Internet of Things, as well as by the sophisticated and high-impact nature of advanced targeted attacks," said Elizabeth Kim, research analyst at Gartner.

Investment on the vendor side is pouring into endpoint detection and remediation tools, threat intelligence, and cloud security tools, such as encryption.

However, strength in these emerging segments is being offset by lower margins that are coming with the commoditisation of antivirus software, a mainstay of security spending for decades.

Recent high-profile breaches have broadened the perceived need for zero-day malware detection in a sandbox but the technology can increase costs for mid-size or understaffed security client, Gartner warns.

In response, incumbent security platform vendors are introducing less costly, often cloud-based, malware detonation sandboxes as platform extensions.

Most of the security tech emanates from US companies, and with the US dollar rising steeply against the Euro by 20 per cent since last summer, a commensurate rise in the price of products is causing a delay in some sales.

“Gartner expects the main customer response will be to forgo some spending for the next quarter or so," said the research giant. "The rebound in 2016 will be due to a combination of deferred purchases realised in 2016 and the stabilisation of currency exchange rates from 2016 onwards." ®

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