STAMFORD, Conn., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A report by a technology research firm says global spending on information security will reach $71.1 billion in 2014.
The estimated figure from U.S.-based Gartner Inc. is a 7.9 percent increase over last year's spending, and reflects new methods of combating cybercrime.
Easy access to malware and other malevolent technology has accelerated the pace of crimes committed by computer, as well as defenses against them. There has also been an increased awareness of the value of security in firms that "have traditionally treated security as an IT (information technology) function and a cost center," said Gartner research director Lawrence Pingree.
The report predicts security of mobile devices will become a consumer priority, and that by 2018, over half the world's businesses and organizations will use security service firms. It comes after the United States' second-largest hospital chain, Community Health Systems Inc., reported a cyberattack leading to the theft of data of 4.5 million patients. The data breached was traced to Chinese hackers.