Each year organisations increase spending on cyber security protection to keep their businesses, their data and their users’ safe, according to global analyst firm Ovum. It is a commitment that continues to be threatened by security attacks ranging from opportunistic hackers using pre-built tools through to targeted, well-resourced, and on occasion, state-sponsored cyber activity.

According to Ovum’s latest “Security 2016 Trends to Watch” report, the IT security industry will focus on helping organizations to know more about the threats they face. IT will be utilizing security intelligence and analytical capabilities to map the threat landscape and find and take action against new and recurring threats. Industry coverage will include new technologies which have been designed to identify and address the risky actions that users are taking and the unauthorized, often cloud-based facilities they are choosing to use.

Among the security trends to watch in 2016 are:

* Improving the usefulness of security analytics and threat intelligence is vital.

* Keeping business data safe calls for new and innovative technology.

* Cyber security controls must improve to deal with next-generation business systems.

* Identity management has to evolve to deal with the complete digital lifecycle.

Andrew Kellett, principal analyst: software – IT solutions at Ovum and author of the report, says: “In 2016, the security plaudits should go to software and service providers who can identify threats earlier and provide organisations with the quality of security intelligence they need to keep data safe.

“More realistically, it is likely to go to vendors who can spot security breaches soon after they occur and deal effectively with the aftermath of remediation,” says Kellett.

In 2016, cybercrime, state-sponsored activities and advanced persistent threats (APTs) will continue to make the headlines, and social engineering that targets human frailties will continue to put business systems at risk.

Kellett adds: “Therefore, detection and remediation tools that can spot all types of malware and reduce recovery timelines after a breach will continue to have an important role.”

Ovum believes the need for better security will be driven by operational demands, including the use of technology that makes business information more readily available and consequently more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Increasing use of cloud-based services, user mobility and multiple devices is adding complexity to security, particularly identity and access management requirements.

The security industry has the products and services to improve business and data protection. 2016 will see more use being made of analytical and intelligence-based security tools to identify threats and help qualify the actions that need to take to keep businesses safe.

“The focus on keeping user and business data safe is a key issue. As such, there needs to be far more interest in the control elements of security that define what users are allowed to do: what on-premise and cloud-based facilities and services they can and cannot use, what data resources they are allowed to access, and where that data can be kept,” concludes Kellett.