The US is expected to lead the market for cyber security over the next 10 years. According to new research from UK research firm, Strategic Defence Intelligence, the US is expected to account for 56%
of the global spending on cyber security. By 2023 the US budget for cyber security is expected to reach US$10.1 billion – growing at a robust pace from a US$6.2 billion budget in 2013.
In 2014 the US is going to increase the budget on cyber defence by 21% or US$800 million. This comes despite an overall cut in the American defence budget. In recent years the US has been a major target for cyber espionage and cyber attacks operations sponsored by nations such as China, Iran, Russia and North Korea. A number of cyber attacks have targeted highly intelligent military networks and corporate institutions. In 2010 the US government suffered from the thousands of confidential US diplomatic cables that were leaked and published online by WikiLeaks. The recent digital infiltration of the RQ170 Sentinel drone by Iran as well as the ongoing rivalry against Russia and China have only underpinned the strong demand for cyber security services in the country.
Growth in the Global Market for Cyber Security
A steady flow of investments by the US government in the cyber security domain is expected to result in even more advanced technological innovations and cyber warfare capabilities. This in turn is anticipated to influence the cyber security strategies of most major defence spending countries, by prompting them to acquire similar technological capabilities. According to the Strategic Defence Intelligence report, the global market for cyber security is expected to value US$11.1 billion by the end of 2013. By 2023 this number is expected to reach US$19.4 billion.
Government Initiative to Protect Civilian Institutions
Today most cyber security initiatives are designed to offer protection and deterrence, not only for military and government institutions, but also in the civilian and corporate world. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been a major proponent of bringing the civilian cyber security domain under governmental protection and has proposed a US$6 billion bill in its 2014 budget to provide civilian institutions with the technology and expertise needed for real-time cyber threat detection under an initiative named ‘Continuous Monitoring as a Service’ or CMaaS.
Cyber Weapons – The Move from Defence to Offence
The US is the first country to have militarily classified a number of cyber tools as cyber weapons, and has a state sponsored program aimed at developing these. As such, most countries with advanced cyber warfare capabilities, such as Israel, China, Russia and France are likely to move from a defensive to a more offensive position. The US is developing a number of cyber weapons including a master computer that can carry out cyber warfare activities without the intervention of a human programmer. In 2014, the US Air Force expects to spend US$19.7 million on offensive cyber operations, including research and development, operations and training. Similarly, the army proposes to spend US$5 million for improving its computer network exploitation and computer network attack capabilities. This recent focus on developing offensive capabilities has influenced other major defence spending countries too, with the UK developing a cyber weapons program in line with the US cyber security strategy. The Japanese Defence Ministry will also allocate substantial funds aimed at developing a cyber weapon. Countries such as Russia, China and North Korea are already believed to be in possession of cyber weapons and are likely to already have deployed and tested these weapons.