Cyber Security Continues To Drive Tech Spending in 2019

New research from ESG reveals cyber security skills shortage and more planned spend



Doug Cahill
03/04/2019

The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) just released its annual “2019 Technology Spending Intentions Survey,” which tapped into over 800 senior IT and business professionals concerning their organizations’ IT spending plans and priorities over the next 12 to 18 months.

While many trends and themes surfaced from the results such as general spending plans, and the progress and impact of some IT initiatives, here Cyber Security Hub presents the results specific to enterprise security. Two cyber security-relevant themes emerged from the report:

  1. Cyber security is one of the top areas of IT skills shortages. Marking the seventh consecutive year atop the list of problematic areas of IT skills shortages, more than half of respondents cite cyber security as an area in which they continue to have a shortfall of skills in 2019.

This is the seventh year ESG has asked senior IT decision makers about the areas in which they have a problematic shortage of IT skills and cyber security has topped the list each year. Specifically, more than half (53%) of respondents cite cyber security as an area in which they have a skills shortfall, and it’s important to note that the widespread skills shortage is appreciably higher than the next reported area of skills shortage, IT architecture/planning, at 38%.

“The on-going acute shortage of cyber security skills is about more than the large number of open cyber security positions, it’s also a function of the specific skills required to secure an increasingly complicated environment inclusive of mobile knowledge workers and the extensive use of public cloud services,” says Doug Cahill, Group Director and Senior Analyst for ESG. “ In addition to higher education programs, advances in automation and machine learning to improve efficiency, and cyber security services are front and center in addressing this perennial cyber security challenge.”

See Related: “Security Advocacy: A Must for Today’s Enterprise

  1. Cyber security continues to be a top priority driving technology spending. When asked about the business initiatives — i.e., goals for the entire company, not just IT — that will drive the most technology spending over the next 12 months, more than half of respondents cited strengthening cyber security and/or regulatory compliance assurance.

“Subsequently, more than half of IT decision makers expected that guarantees of hardened security and risk management technologies and processes and/or improved compliance with regulatory requirements would be key factors in getting executive management to sign off on IT investments in 2019,” according to the report.

Right behind public cloud infrastructure services and artificial intelligence/machine learning , cyber security rounds out the top 3 areas of investment with 58% of respondent organizations reporting plans to increase spending on products and services aimed at fortifying systems, applications, and information.

See Related: “Driving A Cyber Security Culture Into The Business

“Given the scope of the monetary and brand damage associated with data breaches, the increasingly dangerous threat landscape and the ongoing shortage of strong cyber security skill sets, it is not surprising that cyber security is treated as a business risk rather than merely an IT issue,” the report cites. When asked about the business initiatives — i.e., goals for the entire company, not just IT — that will drive the most technology spending over the next 12 months, more than half of respondents cited strengthening cyber security (40%) and/or regulatory compliance assurance (27%).

Therefor it’s no surprise that more than half of IT decision makers expected executive management to sign off of IT investments that focused on hardened security and risk management technologies, as well as improved compliance with regulatory requirements. With many high-profile data breaches of late (including those with connections dating back to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election), strengthening enterprise security is atop every executive’s mind — even in the board room.

See Related: “Cyber Security Challenges, Focuses 2019

 

 

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