Global Firms Step Up Cybersecurity Budget

by Sohini Bagchi    Feb 27, 2014


Almost 60% of global firms have increased their cybersecurity budget in recent months following the theft of data of millions of customers from the US and other firms. A recent survey by technology research and consulting firm BAE Systems Applied Intelligence suggests that global enterprises are already spending 15-20% of their entire IT budgets on improving security and the number is set to increase in the next one year.

Global scenario

In the US, nearly two third of those surveyed said their IT security budget would increase as a direct result of recent high-profile attacks. Other countries that are spending substantially on their cybersecurity budget include Britain, Canada and Australia, according to the study. The report states that there have been several instances in recent times where financial institutions including big banks have also had data stolen either by employees or those who broke into their system from outside.

“New technologies, changing business practices and an increasing reliance on inter-connected critical systems and infrastructure are all increasing our vulnerability to attack,” the report said adding that many of the organizations that truly integrate security intelligence into their operations can reap the benefits and deliver business growth. More than 80% of those surveyed expected the number of cyber attacks to rise. Loss of customer data was by far the greatest concern, followed by the loss of trade secrets, reputational damage and interruption of service. Many firms, especially in the US believed intellectual property as the second greatest threat to their networks after professional fraudsters.

Meanwhile, a recent Dell report that focuses on APAC enterprises point out that companies in this region, including India, China and Australia consider cyber security as their top priority in the next 12 months, with  trends such as BYOD, Cloud and the Internet gaining prominence.

India’s cyber security efforts

Indian corporations too, both government and private entities are seeing a phenomenal rise in the cyber security incidents - phishing, defaced websites, network breaches, virus attacks – over the last 2-3 years and are investing in resources to combat cyber security.

In July last year, the government formed a new body called the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) protects assets in sensitive sectors such as energy, transport, banking, telecom, defence and space, apart from CERT-In that already protected cyber assets in non-critical areas.

India’s budgetary allocation towards cyber security is $7.76 million for 2013, up 19% from its previous year. In comparison, the US plans to spend several billion dollars through the National Security Agency, $658 million through the Department of Homeland Security and $93 million through US-CERT in 2013. IT Secretary J. Satyanarayana admits that more work needs to be done in areas such as capacity building and research and development. “However, it would be wrong to compare US cyber security budget with that of India’s, as the former has massive IT infrastructure and needs more money to protect that,” he said.

Nevertheless the Dell survey reveals that government and top Indian organizations are investing in areas such as security personnel, advanced tools and training programs to counter large scale cyber attacks in the coming months.