Global cyber protection spending on critical infrastructure is expected to reach $46 billion by the end of the year, a recent research by ABI Research suggests.

According to the study, over the next five years increased spending will be fuelled by the larger number of procedures and policies in training, education, research and development (R&D), standardisation work, awareness projects and cooperative frameworks, among others.

The digitisation of critical infrastructures has brought a lot of significant benefits in socio-economic developments, including improved connectivity, higher efficiency and greater productivity. However, some of these benefits could also pose some risks as the constant availability of Internet has led to the emergence of new types of cybercrime. Now, destruction and disruption through online activities are real. The physical consequences could be material, even though these threats have a virtual nature.

Cyber protection has become imperative and while some sectors, like the financial one, have high cyber security defence mechanisms in place, others, such as the energy and healthcare sectors, have no such measures or are just starting to adopt new ones. There are various driving factors for related services and products market, but most of them would likely be put in place following implementation of national security policies and strategies, ABI Research said.

The focus on cyber security is crucial. With the unveiled cases of state-sponsored cyber-espionage, it is highly likely that the future will bring cyber warfare globally between political groups, crime syndicates, civilian society and even between countries – practically to anyone with Internet access on any device.