14 January 2014

More than half of Asia Pacific companies putting priority on security software

If you're planning your technology budgets for the year, make sure you've left some of it for security software. 

Research firm Forrester says that security software has leapfrogged other software categories in Asia Pacific and now leads the region in terms of expected software spending growth in 2014.

Asked whether spending would increase in 2014 compared to 2013, 55% of 3,382 IT executives and technology budget decision makers in organisations in the Asia Pacific said they would up expenditure by '5% to 10%, or more' in the security software category. 

According to author Manatosh Das, the concerns over security software spending is primarily due to:

Migration to public cloud services such as Dropbox for storage. "Increased adoption of public cloud-based services like storage and disaster recovery is stretching the attack surface," he explained.

Increased mobility, allowing smart phones to be used to check company email for example. The same survey reported that nearly 45% of the Asian organizations which responded identified mobility as a high or critical priority for 2014. Mobility also creates more opportunities for attackers.

More social media adoption, with employees bringing all manner of unapproved software into the office because they feel it helps them to get work done. Such uncertified software could contain malware. 

"Cybercriminals frequently embed malware in social media websites or third-party applications. Infected users can then spread the malware to other devices," Das warned.

Forrester suggests that businesses balance business functionality against security risk, listing security technologies like identity and access management, encryption, key management, two-factor authentication, next-generation firewall, security information management, VPN, security modules for mobile device management, mobile application management, and mobile content management technologies as some of the ways to address the risks.