Network Security

Challenges of a splintered market: Cybersecurity spending

In new budgets, both at organizations and the government, one thing's for sure: Cybersecurity spending continues to trend upward. 

According to Gartner, IT security spending surpassed the $70 million mark in 2014, a 7.9 percent increase from 2013. The firm also predicted this trend to continue into 2015, ultimately reaching the $76.9 billion mark. 

A looming federal data breach notification law coupled with the president's budget proposal for the 2016 fiscal year – featuring a $14 billion allotment toward government cybersecurity efforts – signals a high demand for solutions. If one adds the headline-grabbing breaches that continue to crop up, organizations are pressed to arm themselves for the inevitable breach. 

Projected investment in cybersecurity in 2015. 

Source: Gartner

But with a slew of vendors in the market offering an array of solutions, how easy could it be for security professionals to choose where to allocate their budgeted security spend? 

Trade shows like the RSA Conference and InfoSecurity have expo floors showcasing veteran and start-up security firms, an intimidating scene for attendees looking for new tools. Alex van Someren, managing partner at Amadeus Capital and co-founder of Cyber London, a U.K.-based security start-up accelerator, believes the market's fragmentation poses a serious problem for end-users who are struggling to find comprehensive solutions from a single vendor. 

“The user-experience is damaged by the need to integrate multiple products, which usually doesn't go well from a user-experience point of view,” van Someren says, adding that finding the best possible solution is “pretty hard work.” 

Like van Someren, Peter Stephenson, CISO at Norwich University (and SC Magazine's technology editor heading up the product reviews), believes that the mentality of many start-ups harkens back to a 1990's mentality. “I'm going to build the next great thing – or, maybe, just some thing, great or not – in my garage, sell it to Google and roll in money,” he says. The good news, he points out, is that there are newbies offering innovative and unprecedented solutions.

“I absolutely revel in finding a smart, small startup where the founders have really identified a serious problem and have come
up with a creative solution to the problem that can be used easily by customers,” Stephenson says. 

The intersection between improving the user experience and delivering high security are what many of these up-and-coming vendors may need to aim for. 

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