By Andy Sambidge
Frost & Sullivan report says region is seeing growing need for added online security
Middle East spending on information technology (IT) is expected to cross $20bn this year, according to a new report by consultants Frost & Sullivan.
It said the region was witnessing a growing need for "added protection for consumers from an ever-increasing number of threats".
The report said overall IT spending was set to rise more than 10 percent while the Middle East network security market is expected to average 18 percent growth between 2012 and 2018.
With persistent cyber attacks that aim to access critical and confidential data, it said sectors such as banking, government and defence, oil and gas, online retail and social networking sites, were among the most vulnerable in the Middle East.
This will open up "huge opportunities for vendors to identify and tap", Frost & Sullivan added.
"The Middle East security market is growing. This growth is attributed mainly to government-led investments in Information and Communication Technologies industry, with targeted spending on education, healthcare, and infrastructure sectors," the report said.
It added that the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector remained the top overall spender in the region in 2011, partly due to increasing penetration of global companies in the region.
The study said there has also been a growing need among public sector companies to enhance their security infrastructure with IT becoming a critical component in their operational setup.
Frost & Sullivan said it expects regulatory compliance to be one of the key drivers of the enterprise security market in the Middle East.
Technology convergence, cloud computing, and greater adoption of web applications are expected to drive the deployment of integrated security appliances in the region to 2018, it added.
Haritha Ramachandran, programme manager, Information and Communication Technologies Practice, Middle East and North Africa, Frost & Sullivan, said: “Modern-day businesses are becoming increasingly information-centric in the Middle East. In light of changing technology trends, effective management of information security risks is of paramount importance for decision makers today."For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.