Worldwide spending on information technology is expected to reach about $4 trillion in 2019, according to a report by CNBC.
Those numbers come from global research and advisory firm Gartner, which also predicts that companies will spend $125 billion on cybersecurity alone in 2019.
The reason for all that spend is mostly because cyber threats can come from anywhere.
“This threat is the same for all industries,” said Jim Routh, chief security officer for CVS Health. “Logistics and shipping brought to their knees. Pharmas brought to their knees. And health-care providers brought to their knees. Nation-state threat actors are more prevalent than ever before. Ask Marriott.”
Gurmeet Singh, chief digital, information and marketing officer at 7-Eleven, said digital transformation begins with the customers’ wants and needs, and the changeover to more digital ways for customers to do everyday things is inevitable.
“My biggest threat is not understanding the customer, who the customer is today and who it will be tomorrow,” said Singh. “What people miss, what we have been clear about, is saying ‘Do not start with digital, be customer-obsessed and digitally enabled,’ and those are very carefully chosen words.”
Routh, for his part, said cybersecurity threats are going to continue to grow, and that means spending has to match that upward trend.
Routh said most people still don’t understand how easily criminals can access multiple systems by using simple, proven methods. Even a low success rate can be lucrative for criminals working on a global scale, he said.
The most common tactic — using someone’s stolen credentials to gain access to a site or app — continuously pays off, especially because many people use the same passwords for multiple sites, he said. And it’s easy for criminals to find and use credentials.
“There is no shortage of credentials — over 20 billion to 30 billion credentials on the dark web,” he said. “Each year, credential stuffing is growing in scale and scope because it works.”
Getting rid of passwords would help, but Routh said that’s a ways away.
“It will continue and drive the need for increased budget, and there is no evidence it will slow,” Routh said.