Cyber Security

Cyber security spending spikes to reach $223.7bn by 2024

25th February 2019
Alex Lynn

Cyber security revenues in 2018 were $160.2bn and will jump an enormous $11.2bn during 2019, as the focus moves to GDPR adherence and adherence to similar legislation. Growth slows to around $9.8bn per annum after this but then spikes once again in 2023/4 as AI based Cyber security escalates, reaching $223.7bn.

This means cyber security spending will rise faster than total IT budgets over the next five years. The European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Registrar) has set the agenda for legislation over data privacy and protection worldwide and that is generating a spike in spending on security measures that ensure compliance. This will continue to ripple around the world between 2019 and 2021.

Later in the forecast period an arms race will develop around AI and machine learning as major cyber criminal gangs and rogue nation states adopt these to launch increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks, pushing spending on countermeasures.

These predictions are made in Riot’s new report ‘Privacy and state espionage tightens focus on security - Cyber security spending forecast to 2024’. This is a global forecast by geography and industry vertical, which also highlights differences in cyber security strategy and spending between major regions and sub-sectors.

North America is expected to continue to spend the most on security (27%), but both Europe (22%) and China (20%) which are rapidly accelerating their spend, with the rest of Asia following closely behind on 16%. North America is expected to lead on almost every market with the exceptions of Industrial and Automotive, where China leads, but only by a tiny margin.

Because the US has been driving the eHealth revolution, it has invested sooner than other countries in associated security and that shows up clearly in the 2018 regional breakdown. That gap will remain over the forecast period but narrow as other regions catch up over eHealth.

By contrast in automotive China is emerging as a big spender on cyber security, driven by huge investment coupled by a strategy of focusing on safety in autonomous driving, contrasting with the country’s cavalier approach to consumer privacy. Automotive also stands out for having by far the fastest growth in spending on cyber security among the vertical sectors covered in the report.

The Riot report describes how cyber security threats will evolve over the next five years as monitoring and surveillance based on machine learning algorithms and other AI techniques become widely deployed. But this will have the affect of increasing rather than reducing demand for skilled cyber security personnel, because the developing arms race will require experts in what will effectively be a new form of war game.

Cyber criminals will not only attempt to cover their tracks to evade detection by surveillance systems, but will also attack these defences directly, as is already happening to forensic watermarking systems in TV services.

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