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Spending on managed security services in A/NZ to grow despite COVID headwinds

Spending on managed security services spending in Australia and New Zealand is set to grow despite COVID-19 headwinds, according to new research from IDC. 

The analyst firm says that while COVID-19 has thrown major disruptions into the security landscape, steady growth is forecast in A/NZ security services, with managed security services, threat detection and response services, and data security and privacy solutions tipped for increased investment. 

Remote working/learning, security, and trust have emerged as key priorities for business continuity and resiliency as businesses manage the impacts of COVID-19.

Security Services revenue in Australia is set to reach AUD$5,467 million by 2024. In New Zealand, revenue is set to grow from NZD$464 million in 2019 to NZD $821 million by 2024. IDC's A/NZ forecast represents a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.3% for 2020-2024.

Managed security services are predicted to have the strongest growth across security-related services according to Emily Lynch, A/NZ Associate Market Analyst for IT Services and author of IDC Australia/New Zealand's recently released Impact of COVID-19 and Future of Trust on Australia and New Zealand Managed Security Services report. 

COVID-19 has changed security priorities significantly, and managed security services in A/NZ are set to benefit. 

"Organisations are facing additional challenges in maintaining their security environments. Working from home and remote learning expand the cyber-attack surface and exponentially increase the number of vulnerable endpoints," Lynch explains.

These new ways of working also accelerate demand for network security, identity access management (IAM), and software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solutions. Security must work "anytime, anywhere," just as employees and learners do. The pandemic has blurred these traditional borders, and should also lift the sophistication of security strategies.

The recent Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks hitting the NZX, MetService, and other major Kiwi organisations illustrate the criticality of investment in modern security infrastructure and practices to ensure that businesses are protected from threat actors. Security must keep up with a constantly evolving threat landscape.

"Many A/NZ organisations intend to invest in specialist managed security services providers to help them navigate new ways of working at scale and improve their threat detection and response capabilities," Lynch says.

"These investments enhance an organisation's security posture and demonstrate a commitment to growing trust in their partners and ecosystems."

IDC's recent survey of A/NZ IT decision makers in the Asia/Pacific Enterprise IT and Business Services Sourcing Survey showed that 81% of New Zealand and 73% of Australia organisations indicate further investment in managed security service providers to enhance their security.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic places extra pressure on A/NZ security services providers to be flexible, empathetic, and reliable. Customers will closely assess the support received from their managed security service providers, and if they trust their current provider to provide this support again during future storms.

Lynch adds, "The pandemic has caused a massive shake-up in external services needs, and customers must now evaluate whether their current services provider ticks the new boxes created by COVID-19. 

"Although not all customers are facing cutbacks, for many organisations, gestures of additional support and goodwill will go a long way to bolstering trust through the partnership and ensuring repeat business when the time comes for contract renewal."