According to a new report[i] released in January 2014 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and written in collaboration with McKinsey & Company, trillions of dollars in potential economic value may be lost and cyber-attacks may become more frequent if cyber security is not advanced on a global scale.
The report asserts that technology trends such as cloud computing and big data could generate a total of between $9.6 trillion and $21.6 trillion in value for the global economy over the next several years. However, successful cyber-attacks, coupled with new regulations and corporate policies aimed to fight them, could hamper that innovation and development, reducing the potential economic value generated by up to $3 trillion.
Among the report’s recommendations is the need for each country to create a national cyber strategy and fund the institutions to implement it. Likewise, all public and private sector organizations should develop cyber security policies and capabilities. In the coming years, annual global spending on cyber resilience is likely to rise accordingly, from $69 billion in 2013 to at least $123 billion in 2020, according to the recent WEF report.
Clearly, this demonstrates the emergence of a large, vibrant market for innovative technologies that address the cyber challenge. To meet these growing needs, a large number of startups and more advanced companies have become involved in developing solutions.
Major international technology countries have sensed this new niche and are pursuing it with gusto. In the last year or so, the following are just a handful of cyber security technology acquisitions that occurred:
- IBM bought the Israeli firm Trusteer
- Cisco acquired California-based Virtuata, Czech startup Cognitive Security and Maryland-based Sourcefire.
- F5 Networks Inc. purchased Israel’s Versafe
- Imperva acquired the Israeli cloud security startups Incapsula and Skyfence
- Bit9 purchased Texas-based Carbon Black
- Palo Alto Networks acquired Israel-based Cyvera
- FireEye acquired Virginia-based Mandiant
Public sector agencies are also taking part in the effort, in the hope of providing their countries with the best solutions. Examples of this include the Cyber Security Division (CSD) of the US Department of Homeland Securityand the Cyber Security Institute (SGE) within Turkey’s National Technology and Cryptology Research Institute, both of which are engaged in developing and transitioning new cyber security technologies, tools and techniques while coordinating relevant R&D in their respective countries.
Now is the time to conquer this new major threat to civilization as we know it. When Plato said that “necessity is the mother of invention,” he was definitely referring to cyber security. As all governments and private companies are scrambling to build their cyber security capabilities and defenses, firms that can produce the best solutions are bound to win big.
Michael Platt is business development associate and IT manager at Atid EDI, Ltd. EDI, with its more than 22 years of experience in Israel’s high tech community and Middle East markets is uniquely positioned to assist companies seeking the most up to date technologies and business opportunities in this sector.