The cybersecurity market is expected to be worth more than $120 billion in 2017.
That’s a pretty sizeable market, and with an estimated Compound Annual Growth Rate of 9.5% between 2017 and 2021 it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
It’s a massive market, made up of thousands of companies from new startups to multinational corporations worth billions. And the customer base? Basically, anyone with internet access absolutely needs to be a customer.
Spending is forecast to reach $90 billion this year, as the industry is forced to expand in the face of emerging threats from the Internet of Things and increasing global attacks like the Equifax breach.
From the outside, it seems as though the cybersecurity industry is going from strength to strength. That wouldn’t be inaccurate, either; it’s a booming sector with a ridiculously high level of demand.
However, it’s far from perfect.
There are many issues in the world of cybersecurity that need to be addressed, and with the recent wave of ransomware attacks, massive security breaches, and DDoS onslaughts there’s an ever more pressing urge to get to work.
What are these weaknesses?
The Achilles heel of cyber security may lie, paradoxically, in its diversity. The industry is made up of lots of competing companies, each with a unique set of strengths and weaknesses and all pretty close together in terms of effectiveness.
It’s always been tough to separate the top flight of cybersecurity providers from each other, with big names like AVG, Symantec, CheckPoint, and Kaspersky regularly proving to be close together.
The trouble is, this group of companies is fragmented.
There’s little co-operation between the big security providers. This is a problem, because each company has its own strong points and its own drawbacks. One provider might be the best in the world at defending against ransomware attacks, but terrible at dealing with IoT issues.
This weak spot could easily be addressed by co-operating with another provider that specializes in IoT, but this kind of teamwork is rare.
What’s more, if the customers of one service are hit with a particular attack, it could take a long time for information about the threat to reach other providers. In that timespan, the attackers could do a whole lot more damage.
A lack of effective communication and coordination between the big security providers could be having serious consequences for the users of these services. The Harvard Business Review published the startling findings that the best online software only catches 5% of new threats.
This is evidence that cybersecurity companies simply aren’t doing enough to locate emerging dangers and put a stop to them. It suggests massive blind spots in an industry that’s becoming more and more indispensable.
The fragmentation of the cyber security market isn’t just a problem from a safety point of view.
Most good security software isn’t free. Users can expect to pay somewhere in the region of $50 annually for a decent program. This isn’t going to break the bank if you’re only purchasing one, but for ideal, complete protection against a range of threats just one security provider isn’t going to cut it.
Because of the lack of data sharing, internet users would need a number of subscriptions to cover the various blind spots of the different programs and take advantage of their separate strengths.
This is obviously highly costly, and not really feasible for most individual users without the advantage of a corporate security budget.
Failing to do so, however, means leaving your computer open to attack.
So what’s the answer?
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be a straight choice between paying for several security programs and surrendering to the attackers.
LevelNet is an ICO offering a completely unique solution to the fragmentation of the cybersecurity industry.
Their idea is to build a network of ordinary internet-using people and companies, perhaps with their own cybersecurity software already installed.
Once the network is big enough, it’ll be possible to share information quickly and easily between the users or ‘nodes’ that make it up. This way, if a single user detects a threat through their existing security software, that information will be swiftly spread to the rest of the network.
Think of it as a distributed super antivirus (all your antiviruses combined).
It’ll allow for a coordinated, measured response to threats based on their risk level, and effortlessly combine the detection powers of multiple security providers.
And the cost? A mere $0.99 per month, nicely eliminating the need to subscribe to a stack of high-end security programs.
It’s an idea whose time has truly come and could be just the weapon that the cybersecurity world needs in these times of soaring digital crime.