Global cybersecurity spending soared in 2020 amid record year of data breaches

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Global cybersecurity spending soared in 2020 amid record year of data breaches

The last year had a record number of data breaches globally despite a significant increase in cybersecurity spending, according to research firm Canalys.

Canalys said 2020 experienced a data breach crisis, citing that some 30 billion records were compromised within a 12-month period, more than the previous 15 years combined.

This came despite cybersecurity outperformed other IT spending in 2020 after registering a 10 percent increase to US$53 billion globally

Canalys noted though that other segments like business continuity and workforce productivity took precedence over security during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research firm’s estimated that cloud infrastructure services grew 33 percent in 2020 to US$142 billion, representing an increase of US$45 billion in annual spend against 2019. Cloud software services increased more than 20 percent during the same period, according to Canalys.

Notebook PC shipments also had a record year, surging 17 percent, and are forecast to continue growing in 2021. Logitech’s webcam business also hit a record high, increasing 138 percent on a trailing four-quarter basis. Sales growth of home Wi-Fi routers exceeded 40 percent as remote workers looked to improve their connectivity, while home printers and ink sold out.

“Prioritise cybersecurity and invest in broadening protection, detection and response measures or face disaster,” Canalys chief analyst Matthew Ball said.

“Cybersecurity must be front and centre of digital plans, otherwise there will be a mass extinction of organizations, which will threaten the post-COVID-19 economic recovery. A lapse in focus on cybersecurity is already having major repercussions, resulting in the escalation of the current data breach crisis and acceleration of ransomware attacks.”

During 2020, Canalys said ransomware attacks specifically surged with “tragic consequences”, as hospitals were specifically targeted. Several high-profile organisations globally also went out of business in 2020 and surviving organisations had to implement business continuity measures quickly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic or face ruin.

The research firm said it came often at the expense of cybersecurity and bypassed longstanding corporate policies, leaving many exposed to exploitation by highly organised and sophisticated threat actors, as well as other more opportunistic hackers.

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