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Gartner: Security Spending To Rise Despite Recession Fears

Jay Fitzgerald

‘Where technology budgets might be tight, security (spending) has actually increased,’ says one channel player.

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Despite fears of an economic downturn next year, a new report projects that spending on cybersecurity is expected to remain robust in 2023 – and even increase over this past year’s pace.

Gartner Inc., the Stamford, Conn.-based technology research and consulting firm, is estimating that global spending on security and risk management will rise by about 11.3 percent to $188.3 billion in 2023. That’s compared to the estimated 7.2 percent rise in security-related spending in 2022, according to Gartner officials.

Worldwide end-user spending for cloud security is expected to grow the fastest in 2023, up by 26.8 percent, followed by spending for applications security (up 24.7 percent), data privacy (up 16.9 percent), infrastructure protection (up 16.1 percent), identity access management (15.1 percent) and data security (14.2 percent), according to Gartner.

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Adding in other subcategories of security and risk-management spending brings the total projected spending increase to 11.3 percent in 2023.

Nat Smith, a vice president-analyst at Gartner, told CRN that it should be no surprise that security spending is increasing, regardless of a recession on the horizon, due to the recent dramatic rise in cybersecurity threats and the massive shift to remote working since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added that it’s also no surprise that the cloud-security subsector is seeing the largest spending increases, due to organizations increasingly shifting their data and information to the cloud.

“There’s just this growing momentum” behind security spending in general, Smith said. “Security has definitely become a top board room topic – and we wouldn’t have said that 10 years ago.”

Rick Smith, founder and chief executive of Renactus Technology LLC, an MSP based in Union, N.J., told CRN that security spending has been keeping overall technology spending up so far this year.

“Where technology budgets might be tight, security (spending) has actually increased,” he said.

He estimated that client spending on security has recently jumped by 8 to 12 percent. At his own firm, Smith estimated his spending on security has jumped by about 20 percent. “We’re just protecting ourselves,” said.

AtThe Channel Company’s Best of Breed (BoB) conference this week in Atlanta, most partners told CRN reporters that overall tech spending has indeed remained steady or even risen a bit, despite today’s uncertain economic times.

Dale Shulmistra, a business continuity specialist at Invenio IT in New York City, said “my clients are still spending” on tech.

We haven’t seen a slowdown,” Shulmistra said at the BoB conference in Atlanta. “That said, I’m probably more pessimistic, internally in what I sense in 2023. I do foresee some slowdown.”

In a press release, Gartner outlined three major factors driving security growth: the increase in remote and hybrid work; the transition from virtual private networks (VPNs) to zero trust network access (ZTNA); and organizations’ increased migration to cloud-based delivery models.

“The pandemic accelerated hybrid work and the shift to the cloud, challenging the CISO to secure an increasingly distributed enterprise,” Ruggero Contu, senior director analyst at Gartner, said in the press release.

“The modern CISO needs to focus on an expanding attack surface created by digital transformation initiatives such as cloud adoption, IT/OT-IoT convergence, remote working and third-party infrastructure integration. Demand for technologies and services such as cloud security, application security, ZTNA, and threat intelligence has been rising to tackle new vulnerabilities and risks arising from this exposure,” he said.

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