Spending on security and risk management (SRM) by end-users in the Middle East and North Africa region is forecast to jump 12.1 per cent to total $3.3 billion in 2024 on the back of an expanding “threat landscape” driven by Generative Artificial Intelligence, according to a leading provider of research and data for businesses in the IT sector.

The appearance of GenAI as a mainstream capability is causing significant disruptions in digital and business sectors, Gartner said in a report.

GenAI will cause a spike in the cybersecurity resources required to secure it, causing more than a 15 per cent incremental spend on application and data security by 2025, Gartner predicted.

“To effectively manage GenAI challenges and tackle other external factors, such as a shortage of security talent, growing regulatory concerns, and the rapid adoption of cloud technology, CISOs must prioritize two top cybersecurity trends. They will help improve organizational resilience and the performance of the cybersecurity function,” the research firm said in a statement.

“The rapid growth of GenAI is expanding the threat landscape. At the same time, the evolving regulatory landscape and the alarming frequency of cyberattacks are prompting SRM leaders to increase their spending on security measures,” said Shailendra Upadhyay, senior research principal at Gartner.

“Organisations are also strategically improving their defences by adopting advanced technologies and security solutions which enable them to proactively identify potential vulnerabilities or malicious activities across various digital platforms.”

The new data was released on the sidelines of security & risk management summit held in Dubai where Gartner analysts have been discussing ways to enhance the flexibility and responsiveness of SRM techniques and technology.

In 2024, spending on data privacy in Mena is projected to record the highest growth rate of all segments, increasing 24 per cent year-over-year.

“By the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has recently implemented data protection laws for handling personal data of identifiable individuals,” said Upadhyay. “These laws require Mena organisations to maintain a higher standard of data privacy and cyber security measures, increasing spending on data privacy.”

Cloud security spending is expected to record an increase of 17.4 per cent, the second-highest growth rate in 2024. The growing use of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS), is projected to drive spending on cloud security resources. The adoption of multi-cloud environments has also resulted in increased security complexities, which has boosted the demand for cloud-based detection and response solutions, such as endpoint detection and response and management tools.

Gartner recently projected that the overall IT spending in the Mena region would accelerate in 2024, increasing 4.0 per cent from 2023. The region’s IT spending is projected to total $183.8 billion in 2024, up from $176.8 billion in 2023. In comparison, global IT spending is projected to total $5.1 trillion in 2024.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), spending on information and communications technology (ICT) across the Middle East, Türkiye, and Africa (Meta) will exceed $238 billion this year, an increase of 4.5 per cent over 2023, the International Data Corporation (IDC) said on Monday.

IDC revealed that it expects the region’s telecommunications services spending to increase 5.0 per cent year on year (YoY) in 2024 to reach $133 billion, with IT spending set to grow 3.9 per cent YoY to $105 billion.


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