|16 January, 2020

ME cybersecurity market set to grow in 2020, but so will threats

By 2021, IoT security service spending will more than double to nearly $2.1bln

Image used for illustrative purpose.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

Getty Images/ Yuichiro Chino

With the Middle East cybersecurity market expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 22.5 per cent during 2018-24, Honeywell's cybersecurity professionals shared insights and expected changes resulting from more open, connected and smart building systems.

Here are key 2020 predictions from the company:

. Buildings will likely see an increase in cyber-related threats as they become more connected, putting data and reputation at potentially greater risk.

According to Gartner, buildings will account for 81 per cent of all connected things in 2020. Still, connected buildings often remain a less-guarded entry point and cybersecurity has oftentimes not been a primary focus when managing operational technology.

. Cybersecurity for operational technology is expected to become a key safety and security metric for many businesses in 2020 as digitalisation and the interconnectivity of systems potentially opens up new routes of access for cyberattacks.

As buildings become smarter, they generally produce more and more connected data, and therefore oftentimes attract more potential threats. In fact, a CEB study found that nearly 20 per cent of organisations with IoT networks have experienced at least one IoT-related attack already. As businesses experience more attacks and the resulting damage caused, many will likely develop new and more robust strategies to keep pace.

Honeywell expects to see more preventative measures in the coming year, such as training focused on addressing potential cyber threats in operational technology and on conducting cybersecurity assessments to identify gaps.

. Demand is expected to increase for a new type of security professional as operational technology and IT responsibilities often overlap. By 2021, IoT security service spending will more than double to nearly $2.1 billion, according to Gartner.

As cyber threats evolve and the demand for operational technology cybersecurity grows, the role of the security professional is often changing. operational technology and IT functions have been increasingly working together to prepare for and respond to cyber-attacks, but in 2020 the industry will likely see more individual professionals with both operational technology and IT capabilities. These employees typically start their career in one function, but grow their skillset overtime as they gain more overarching security experience.

. A global standard for cybersecurity is expected to become a top priority across industries.

This year will likely bring a greater focus to standardisation for building cybersecurity, and we expect to see at least one framework emerge as a leading guide for securing a building's OT system.

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