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Information security market to grow; Walmart finds an ally in Google

With cyberattacks increasing in sophistication and data privacy laws such as the European General Data Protection Regulation set to go into effect in 2018, organizations should expect to see healthy worldwide growth in the information security market, according to a Gartner report released last week. Security is also top of mind for technology companies these days. This week, Google revealed the technical details of its custom security chip Titan, which is designed to better secure the hardware behind its cloud services.

In other news, online retail giant Amazon’s said it expects to close the $13.7 billion Whole Foods deal next week, while its competitor Walmart announced it is teaming up with Google as it plans to dive into the voice-assisted shopping realm.

Here are the headlines in this week’s SearchCIO news roundup in more detail.

Information security market to reach $86.4B in 2017. IT research outfit Gartner foresees worldwide spending on information security products and services will rise by 7% this year, with spending expected to reach $93 billion in 2018. The growth is spurred by the string of recent data breaches. “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,” Sid Deshpande, a research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement last week. Security services such as IT outsourcing, consulting and implementation services, will continue to be the fastest growing segment, according to the report. The European General Data Protection Regulation, a new framework for European data protection laws that goes into effect May 2018, is another driving force behind the growth of the information security market, Gartner believes. It is expected to drive 65% of data loss prevention buying decisions through 2018, according to the report.

Competition among tech titans continues. On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved Amazon’s $13.7 billion bid to purchase Whole Foods Market, a national chain of natural and organic food grocery stores. The FTC nod will help Amazon secure a larger foothold in the $700 billion U.S. grocery market industry, an area that is currently dominated by Walmart. The very same day, Walmart revealed its plans for voice-activated shopping — a space dominated by Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo — through a partnership with Google. Starting in September, Walmart will begin offering items for voice shopping via Google Assistant, the retail company said. “We will continue to focus on creating new opportunities to simplify people’s lives and help them shop in ways they’ve not yet imagined,” Marc Lore, president and chief executive of Walmart U.S. e-commerce, said in a blog post.

Google ‘Titan’s’ security in the cloud. This week, internet search giant Google revealed technical details of its Titan security chip, designed to better secure the machines that power its cloud services. The chip, unveiled in March at Google Cloud Next, establishes a root of trust or a security protocol that validates the integrity of a machine’s hardware and software when booting and prevents the machine from doing so if an issue is detected, according to the Mountain View, Calif.-based company. “Google designed Titan’s hardware logic in-house to reduce the chances of hardware backdoors,” Google Cloud Platform engineers said in a blog post this week.