The Race to Invest in Cybersecurity
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the very nature of the global business landscape, especially for cybersecurity companies. While many businesses were already digitally transforming their operations, the pandemic has made it imperative. Now, everyone is racing to put their operations online.
The risk of cybersecurity breaches grows as digitally transformed businesses extract more and more value from their data. While cybersecurity breaches in big-name companies tend to make headlines, every business (irrespective of size) is at high risk of experiencing a cyberattack.
Researchers expect data-fueled applications to generate new economic activity worth $13 trillion by 2030, and cyber attackers are gearing up to take a big slice out of that pie.1 The last thing companies need as they struggle to cope with the ramifications of the pandemic is a successful breach that compromises their systems and networks, and disrupts their workflow/productivity.
With the unprecedented growth of the digital economy, businesses need reliable cybersecurity companies, talent and solutions to protect them from malicious actors. Pre COVID-19, a centralized security option could secure networks and systems in a typical office setting. This is no longer the case.
The current pandemic is causing us to change the way we look at work and what we should invest in. Working from home may become the new normal. There’s just one problem—most businesses aren’t ready for the transition.
To protect critical business data, businesses must shift from not just securing their office network but also preventing threats against employees working from their homes. However, many remote work/productivity/collaboration applications weren’t designed to handle the security implications of businesses massively adopting the work-from-home model.
A case in point is the video conferencing application, Zoom. Zoom Video jumped from 10 million users in December 2019 to 200 million in March 2020.2 This unprecedented upshot in its user base exposed some vulnerabilities, enabling malicious actors to eavesdrop on conversations and compromise sensitive business data.
Innovative Cybersecurity Solutions
As cybercriminals develop increasingly innovative ways to exploit the massive work-at-home population, it’s crucial for businesses to proactively invest in the security of their systems, networks and data.
This is why many companies are pushing their technology platforms, services, and data to the cloud. However, hackers are innovating and retooling their attacks to be coronavirus themed, making them far more likely to succeed.
Fortunately, the innovations of data security companies like Zscaler is enabling enterprises to effectively secure their business data—wherever it resides. Rather than take the classic approach to cybersecurity, Zscaler builds walls around data rather than applications—via its Secure Access Service Edge architecture.3 This approach is far more effective at safeguarding critical business assets, especially with millions of work-at-home employees connecting to enterprise servers using unsecured, home Wi-Fi.
Revolutionary solutions like Zscaler’s IA may be the only way to guard against cybersecurity incidents as the pandemic continues to change how and where employees work. A cloud-based data security solution is an ideal way to provide businesses with a defense system that can quickly scale to keep decentralized employees safe online and fend off malicious attackers.
This is why there has been a massive upshot in the number of businesses deploying Zscaler’s IA solution. The company has grown quickly and exceeded previous projections of a 50 percent year on year annual growth rate by bringing in high-profile Fortune 100 and 500 companies, including Google and Facebook. Zscaler's solutions brought in $302 million in revenues through 2019, up from $53 million in 2015.4
Growth Projections for the Cybersecurity Industry
Before the pandemic, Gartner researchers predicted a 17 percent growth in the public cloud services market.5 However, current cybersecurity industry trends will push growth projections much higher as more and more companies veer towards the cloud to keep operations and workforces running.
This trend is reinforced with the $420 million acquisition of CloudGenix Inc. Palo Alto Networks Inc. acquired the cloud-based security startup to gear up for the permanent change in how companies think about remote workforce, once the shock of the pandemic recedes.
As the largest work-from-home experiment continues to highlight the benefits of deploying cloud-specific cybersecurity offerings, cybersecurity companies that design such solutions will enjoy strong growth and demand for their offerings. On the other hand, vendors of classic, network-based security may not do so well due to the drop in demand for such solutions.
The increased demand for cloud-based services is evident as award-winning cybersecurity company, FireEye, reports a seven percent increase in first-quarter revenues, despite the effects of the pandemic rattling enterprises across the globe and disrupting growth and revenue projections.6
The transition to a work-from-home model enabled the cybersecurity company to grow its market share in several areas, including consulting, managed services and cloud subscription platforms. With this growth, Fireye expects its revenues for the second quarter to range from $213 million - $217 million while it projects total revenue for the year to fall between $880 million - $990 million.7
Meanwhile, Juniper Networks enjoyed a 10 percent increase in orders as more service providers purchased networking gear, bringing its first-quarter revenues to $998 million—on par with last year's figures for the same period despite the ripple effects of the pandemic.8
Companies are gearing up for a more remote-friendly future, and the cybersecurity industry will certainly be the linchpin to securing that future. With the massive shift to a work-at-home model and increasing reliance on cloud-based tools, investing in cybersecurity is a no-brainer.
What Comes Next?
Despite a slowdown in corporate spending on information technology, increased compliance requirements, and a robust threat landscape, the continued prioritization of security is driving increased investment in cybersecurity companies.
As supply chains tighten across the globe and the world shifts to a work-from-home model, securing business data has become more important than ever. Aside from procuring state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions, companies should empower their employees with relevant data security know-how. IT professionals and other individuals can also take advantage of the increased demand for and investment in cybersecurity to upskill themselves and gain the technical knowledge to secure organizations from a constantly evolving threat landscape.
1. Retrieved on July 8, 2020, from mckinsey.com/featured-insights/artificial-intelligence/notes-from-the-ai-frontier-modeling-the-impact-of-ai-on-the-world-economy#
2. Retrieved on July 8, 2020, from blog.zoom.us/a-message-to-our-users/
3. Retrieved on July 8, 2020, from zscaler.com/products/secure-access-service-edge
4. Retrieved on July 8, 2020, from forbes.com/sites/jonmarkman/2020/04/26/zscaler-booms-amid-remote-cybersecurity-demands/#258e01e12434
5. Retrieved on July 8, 2020, from gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2019-11-13-gartner-forecasts-worldwide-public-cloud-revenue-to-grow-17-percent-in-2020
6. Retrieved on July 8, 2020, from businesswire.com/news/home/20200428005983/en/FireEye-Reports-Financial-Results-Quarter-2020
7. Retrieved on July 8, 2020, from businesswire.com/news/home/20200428005983/en/FireEye-Reports-Financial-Results-Quarter-2020
8. Retrieved on July 8, 2020, from investor.juniper.net/investor-relations/press-releases/press-release-details/2020/Juniper-Networks-Reports-Preliminary-First-Quarter-2020-Financial-Results/