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Global cybersecurity spending is expected to grow 10% in 2021 as new types of threats emerge along with an increasing volume of attacks. With enterprises adapting their infrastructure to new cloud architectures and new work configurations, the need to address potential vulnerabilities is taking on greater urgency.

Those figures come from the latest Global Security Forecast by research firm Canalys. The report predicts worldwide spending of $60.2 billion on security products and services in 2021.

That investment includes beefing up areas such as “endpoint security, network security, web and email security, data security, vulnerability and security analytics, and identity access management,” according to the report.

Canalys offers the caveat that the percentage increase could drop to as low as 6.6% if the pandemic keeps most businesses closed for extended periods, a dynamic that could hamper work in this area.


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While such investments are seen as essential, they only seem to be slowing a rising tide of attacks, at best. According to Canalys, hacking hit a historic high last year. The report says 12 billion records were compromised in some fashion last year, and ransomware attacks rose 60%.

What are the culprits? Everything from misconfiguring cloud databases to phishing campaigns. There also seems to be a growing ability to target the weakest links in the security chain: poorly trained remote workers.

“The biggest threats are always those not yet known. The discovery of the SUNBURST advanced persistent threat campaign at the end of 2020, stemming from malicious code injected into the widely used SolarWinds Orion IT management platform and subsequent infiltration into other systems, highlights this,” Canalys chief analyst Matthew Ball said in a statement. “Cybersecurity professional services engagements in response to this latest issue will be one of many factors contributing to sustained investment this year, especially in newer solutions to mitigate emerging threats.”

Among the cybersecurity categories predicted to grow the fastest: web and email security by 12.5% in 2021, vulnerability and security analytics by 11.0%, and endpoint security by 10.4%.

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