Hong Kong sees a boom in IT security outsourcing

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This article written by Gigi Onag, and featured recently in ComputerWorld, caught our attention.  We felt it was well worth highlighting in our F8 blog for the simple reason that we have been offering outsourced IT security reviews and services to our clients for quite some time.

http://cw.com.hk/feature/hong-kong-sees-boom-it-security-outsourcing  This link will take you to the original article, or simply go to “Read More” below to read the entire article

If this is an area of interest/concern to you or your company and you would like to seek advice, then please feel free to contact us.  Either Martin Abert directly at martin@functioneight.com or our sales team via F8.sales@functioneight.com

Hong Kong-based companies have been forking out big bucks on IT security solutions in the last 12 months, with technology analyst Gartner estimating total spending to total HK$536 million (US$69.1 million) by end of 2016 – up by 7% from last year.

Overall, in the Greater China region, enterprises are expected to buy US$3.4 billion worth of security hardware, software and services in 2016.

“Spending on security continues to grow in Hong Kong. Similar growth rates are expected for the next year,” said Sid Deshpande, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Business soars for IT security outsourcing

According to Gartner, consulting and IT security outsourcing are currently the largest categories of spending on information security. In fact, until 2020, the highest growth is expected to come from security testing, IT outsourcing and data loss prevention.

“Growth for security outsourcing remains robust as organizations look to outsource security due to cost optimization and skilled security staff shortages,” Deshpande said.

“Security consulting will remain the segment with the largest spending in the next three years, as organizations engage security consulting service providers to help them manage risk and threats arising from running a digital business,” he added.

Market for cloud security set to grow

As enterprises continue to move data, applications and other computing resources to the cloud, industry analysts such as Gartner see growth in cloud security purchases.

“The cloud access security broker (CASB) market will also grow substantially over the next year with organizations’ increased move to cloud services,” Deshpande said.

“SaaS firewall offerings or firewall-as-a- service will have an impact on overall firewall spending in the next few years.”

However, despite the growth in enterprise spending on IT security solutions, Gartner’s 2016 CIO survey showed that decision makers in the region, particularly in China, do not put IT security as a top priority in their technology purchase.

“Only 4% of CIOs in China ranked security as an investment priority in contrast to 15% of global CIOs who put it as their priority in their buying list,” Deshpande noted.

He cautioned: “Network attack is a growing problem in China and CIOs should allocate more resources to security and risk management to protect business assets.”

Beware of ransomware

Meanwhile, Gartner urged Hong Kong companies not to let its guard down against the ongoing ransomware threat.

“Ransomware is here to stay. Informal discussions with Gartner clients and vendors that provide backup services indicate that very few organizations will escape a ransomware incident, which means a strategy to deal with the threat is required,” Deshpande said.

Indeed, the problem does not seem to be abating. Since the first half of 2016, the volume of ransomware attacks appears to have doubled.

“Business interruptions due to non-targeted ransomware attacks rose to an all-time high in 2016, with many high-profile instances of companies taken fully or partially offline, or suffering service degradation or complete unavailability,” Deshpande observed.

“Ransomware is proving to be more than a nuisance for many businesses worldwide. The profitability associated with these attacks is drawing increasing attention from the underground,” he concluded.