Australia / Analyst Insights
Clean Connection: Demand for Cybersecurity Surges During COVID-19

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by Liam Harrison
Dec 18 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a quick turnaround for remote working arrangements, resulting in businesses hastily developing new means to collaborate and connect. However, the increased usage of remote connections has left businesses increasingly vulnerable to attack from malicious agents, resulting in growing demand for services from the Cybersecurity Software Services industry. In particular, high demand services in the past year for businesses have been:

  • Antivirus software
  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
  • Authentication services

These services are the most common protection services used to protect business data. However, despite growing demand, the antivirus segment has fallen as a share of industry revenue over the past five years, largely due to a combination of overseas competition and free alternatives available on the market. The Cybersecurity Software Services industry is anticipated to rise by 12.0% in 2020-21, to $1.8 billion. Industry demand is anticipated to remain strong over the next five years, with revenue expected to double to $3.6 billion by 2025-26.

Although demand for Cybersecurity Software Services is anticipated to rise, the industry largely focuses on automated elements of cybersecurity protection. One of the largest weaknesses in any IT security is often the end user, with methods such as phishing attacks and social engineering convincing users that an access attempt is legitimate and potentially bypassing automatic protections. However, overall demand for the IT Security Consulting industry over the past year has been muted, with businesses frequently opting for cheaper consulting options or relying more heavily on automated options.

Cybersecurity has been a growing industry even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, with cyberattacks becoming an increasing threat to business operations that have become more reliant on internet services to perform basic functions. Malware has been a particular area of concern for many businesses, as this can lock businesses out of key systems and functions. Earlier this year, wool wholesalers found themselves unable to trade due to a malware attack on a major supplier of software for the industry, Talman, which prevented businesses from accessing the platform.

Federal regulations have complicated the ability for operators in both the Cybersecurity Software Services and IT Security Consulting industries to ensure their clients systems are secure. The Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 threatens the ability for firms to maintain the security and integrity of connections and databases in Australia. The legislation is designed to allow law enforcement easier access to encrypted communications for the purpose of tracking down criminals. However, the vague wording of some segments has left cybersecurity specialists worried due to the ambiguity of their legal requirements under the act.

 

IBISWorld industry reports used in this release:

Cybersecurity Software Services industry in Australia
IT Security Consulting industry in Australia