Global spending on information security products and services will reach $86.4 billion in 2017 — an increase of seven%  from last year, market research firm Gartner said on Wednesday.

The growth is attributed to continued data breaches and growing demands for application security testing within the infrastructure protection segment.

Spending on emerging application security testing tools, particularly “interactive application security testing” (IAST) will contribute to the growth through 2021.

“Rising awareness among CEOs and boards of directors about the business impact of security incidents and an evolving regulatory landscape have led to continued spending on security products and services,” said Sid Deshpande, Principal Research Analyst, Gartner, in a statement.

With spending expected to grow up to $93 billion in 2018, security services will continue to be the fastest-growing segment, especially IT outsourcing, consulting and implementation services.

However, hardware support services will see growth slowing due to the adoption of virtual appliances, public Cloud and software as a service (SaaS) editions of security solutions, which reduces the need for overall hardware support.

“Organisations can improve their security posture significantly just by addressing basic security and risk-related hygiene elements like threat-centric vulnerability management, centralised log management, internal network segmentation, back-ups and system hardening,” added Deshpande.

The report said that the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is expected to drive 65%  of data loss prevention (DLP) buying decisions through 2018.

Organisations that do not have strong DLP in place are looking to increase their capabilities, while those with some form of data loss prevention (DLP) already implemented, are determining what additional capabilities they need to invest in.

The report also added that owing to the recently approved cyber-security law, more than 80% of businesses in China will deploy network security equipment from local vendors by 2021.