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Cybersecurity revenues in the consumer goods sector will grow to $6.5 billion by 2025 due to accelerating digitalization, says GlobalData

June 2022 by GlobalData

Accelerating digitalization, growing online purchases of consumer goods, and the normalization of remote working are all key contributors to the growing demand among consumer goods companies for cybersecurity products and services, found GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest report, ’Cybersecurity in Consumer Goods – Thematic Research’, reveals that consumer goods companies have had to accelerate the digitalization of their business operations following the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, cybersecurity revenues in the consumer goods sector will grow from $3.9 billion in 2020 to $6.5 billion in 2025.

Rory Gopsill, Associate Analyst at GlobalData, comments: "As consumer goods companies are increasingly relying on digital devices and storing more consumer data, they are facing greater cybersecurity challenges. The need to remedy these new vulnerabilities is why cybersecurity revenues in the consumer goods sector are forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6% between 2020 and 2025, according to GlobalData forecasts."

Now more than ever, corporate strategy must consider cybersecurity. Executives of consumer goods companies must appoint a chief information security officer (CISO) and take their perspective seriously.

Gopsill continues: "Times are changing, and the consumer goods sector needs to keep up. Cybersecurity must now be baked into corporate strategy. However, none of the largest consumer goods companies have appointed a CISO to their board of directors. Moreover, many of these companies’ most recent materiality assessments seriously underestimate the importance of cybersecurity as an environmental, social and governance (ESG) issue. This suggests that the consumer goods sector does not yet appreciate the true strategic importance of cybersecurity."

Operational technology (OT) is a key vulnerability for the consumer goods sector. A large consumer goods company will have hundreds of thousands of OT assets ranging from assembly-line robots to programmable logic controllers, potentially spread across multiple continents. These will vary in vendor, model, age, and firmware version and, therefore, have different vulnerabilities. This means simple solutions such as across-the-board patches and software updates will not secure OT networks. Consumer goods companies will need to invest heavily in securing industrial equipment that, in many cases, was designed and installed with relatively little emphasis on cybersecurity.

Gopsill concludes: "Consumer goods companies need to do two things above all else. First, appoint a CISO to the board of directors (if this has not already been done). Second, invest in the cybersecurity of OT environments, which are increasingly attractive targets for threat actors."

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