Speaking at our recent IMAGINE EMEA security conference, keynote speaker Misha Glenny noted that “in the past, the biggest security vulnerabilities were from human error… now, the largest threats are from systems so big that humans no longer have the requisite oversight”.

This encapsulates the ever-evolving threat landscape faced by vendors, partners and end-customers in 2021. Rapid scaling of home working and the related requirements for cloud distribution have made security investment one of the prevailing channel trends for 2021 and beyond.

Beyond this, new technologies are placing ever-increasing demand According to Cisco, the number of devices connected to IP networks will be more than three times the global population by 2023 (Cisco Annual Internet Report (2018-2023) White Paper, March 2020).

To help understand the scale of investment and prioritisation companies and their customers are placing on security this year, we’ve rounded up some of the most interesting statistics from our recent eBook: 7 tech trends set to transform the IT channel in 2021.

To paraphrase the great William Gibson, the cybersecurity market is set to grow enormously this year, but that growth isn’t evenly distributed. Currently, the global security market is valued at around $170bn, but Statista estimates that this will grow by more than a third ($64bn) reaching $234bn by 2023.

Other sources are less conservative. In the past, CyberVision has estimated 10% CAGR growth in the US alone, which would account for almost $64bn, and while many regions are starting from a smaller base, CAGR increase of 17.6% (14bn) is expected for Latin America, 13.7% for MENA ($15bn) and 14.1% for APAC – a colossal $38bn increase.

It’s also interesting to see the particular areas of focus for business investment. Cybersecurity is far from homogenous, and a clear prioritisation of scalability is appearing. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to play a substantial role in the deployment of new network infrastructure and threat prediction – particularly relevant as we see accelerated IT growth. Cisco’s recent annual internet report states that device proliferation will mean there are three times as many connected devices in 2023 as there are people on Earth.

While the opportunity is clear here, this will also represent an exponential increase in vulnerabilities that humans alone may struggle to effectively monitor, so AI and machine learning applications have a clear role to play.

The increasing move towards permanent hybrid working is also driving a huge uptake of advanced cloud services, which is driving a concurrent increase in Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) investment. SDX central predicts SASE will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 116%, with a market value of $5.1 billion by 2024, and Gartner believe that more than 40% of enterprises will have explicit SASE strategies by 2024.

SASE as an enabler of Zero Trust networks is also front and centre for many organisations. Pulse Secure revealed that 60% of organisations have accelerated Zero Trust projects in response to COVID-19, and the Zero Trust market is expected to be worth $38,631 million by 2024.

Finally, a cautionary tale. While it’s true that increased network size and complexity is a primary driver of new threats, it is important that businesses remember and reinforce existing security protocols to deal with pre-existing threats. The rapid move to remote work, combined with increased job insecurity and easier routes to move stolen company data mean that 33% of data breaches will be caused by insider actions in 2021 – an 8% increase from 2020.

Despite this, there is clearly an enormous opportunity for security partners going into the next decade, with new technologies, new demands and new opportunities for recurring revenue set to drive substantial growth.

For more information on the most important security trends of 2021, download our free trends eBook now.