Mena companies to spend Dh5bn on IT security in 2016

Enterprises in the Mena region are the targets of some of the world’s most advanced attacks

Organisations in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) are on track to spend nearly Dh5 billion in security technology and services this year, new data shows.

Technology research company Gartner estimates that the region will spend 8 per cent more on security this year, or a total of $1.3 billion ($4.77 billion).

Increased awareness about the business impact of security incidents is causing organisations to focus their security strategy on detection and response approaches, which is driving this strong growth in the security market, the company said.

“Enterprises in MENA are the targets of some of the world’s most advanced attacks, as well as the highest rate of attacks. Organisations are trying to increase detection, blocking, and advanced defenses while faced with limited availability in the security workforce,” said Greg Young, research vice president at Gartner. He was speaking at the Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit, which took place in Dubai this week.

Large organisations in the Middle East and North Africa continue to invest in building out security operations capabilities either in house or by leveraging external services offered by managed security services providers (MSSPs). I’m encouraged by the regional security cooperation as evidenced through standards and CERT coordination,” he added.

Gartner recommends that organisations recognise the inevitable adoption of cloud and virtual IT and shift their defenses to an adaptive security architecture.  Organisations should look for, and secure, shadow IT whereby IT has been adopted outside the normal IT procurement and management processes.

“Targeted attacks, ransomware, and denial of service attacks are the most relevant threats to enterprises today, however they are enabled by failing patch vulnerabilities and overloading security personnel with alerts,” Young said.

Other trends in the information security market that form assumptions behind Gartner’s latest forecast include:

  • By 2019, 30 per cent of large enterprises will increase their security consulting services spending as they transition into digital business.
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) and mobility security will contribute less than 5 per cent of consumer security software spending by 2018.
  • By year-end 2018, over 50 per cent of IoT device manufacturers will remain unable to address product threats emanating from weak authentication practices.
  • 99.9 percent of attacks will be based on product vulnerabilities that were known for at least a year.