IoT Drives Asia-Pacific Cybersecurity to $22B by 2020
Spurred by private sector awareness, political turmoil, and cybercrime, Asia-Pacific organizations will spend $22 billion on critical infrastructure technologies by 2020, ABI Research estimates.
Spending is expected to increase 17.7 percent between 2014 and 2015, the strongest growth rate globally compared to all other regions, London-based Michela Menting, Digital Security Practice director at ABI Research, told Enterprise Technology. Organizations are buying a mix of off-the-shelf malware and all-purpose anti-spam software, as well as customized solutions designed to help thwart localized, precise attacks launched against specific companies, groups, or individuals, she said.
"Spending on financial services security and the protection of the ICT [information and communications technology] infrastructure are the top two areas where cybersecurity investment will be made, by financial services providers, banks, merchants, telcos, mobile network operators, and Internet service providers, for example," added Menting.
The lucrative OEM market – which ties Asia-Pacific to electronic manufacturers worldwide – also is an attractive target for hackers and malware creators. And as demand grows for Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, OEM vendor spending on security must increase to meet customers' concerns. After all, more businesses will turn to Asia-Pacific's expanding roster of OEMs and original design manufacturers (ODMs) for partnerships and joint research and development agreements, according to IDC.
As a result, OEM businesses are expected to be among those heavily spending on protective measures, she said Menting. Despite these investments, the OEM infrastructure is not ready to face strong attacks, she cautioned.
"[OEMs] are impacted a great deal – particularly in the mobile space, where malware and premium text fraud is rampant, and in more developed economies (South Korea, Japan, Australia) we are seeing high level attacks on industrial control systems as well," said Menting. "Neither sector is well-prepared enough to deal with emerging threats."
Western enterprises partnering with local IoT OEMs can leverage the region's well-established cybersecurity solutions and localized knowledge, she said. Some customization may be needed and it's important to understand any specifically local threats, but the established cybersecurity market is already well-equipped to service emerging economies," said Menting.
In this interconnected IoT environment, industry and government officials worry the weakest link could provide hackers with entry into home, corporate, government, or industrial systems. IoT solutions include sensors; multiple devices -- such as household appliances, cars, medical equipment, and warehousing tools; gateways; switches, and routers, providing multiple access points for those planning harm and those needing to secure IoT systems.
Of course, IoT is not the only driver behind this surge in infrastructure security spending. The private sector – highly developed, economically lucrative, and a prime target for the theft of intellectual property, blackmail, phishing, and identity theft – is investing in cybersecurity in nations such as China, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore, according to ABI Research.
"Highly industrialized and connected nations are a great target for cybertheft. Further, the political tensions sometimes present between these countries is also flaring up politically motivated cyberespionage and cyberwarfare," Menting said. "In turn, this is fuelling national commitment to better national cybersecurity preparedness. In other emerging economies, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, etc., the growth of cybercrime is driving national involvement since the private sector is struggling to cope. There is also a domino effect there, as the attacks suffered by the more industrialized neighbors become more publicized, there is a preemptive effort being made to address this."