What Will Happen to Security Spending as the Economy Fades?

Carl Weinschenk

A survey by security vendor Astaro, described in this InformationWeek story, says that 67 percent of respondents believe security spending will remain constant despite the weak economy.


The company quizzed 300 attendees at the recent RSA conference in San Francisco. InformationWeek positions the results as good news for security proponents, but the reality is that only two-thirds of respondents don't think security spending will be affected. That means that a large group -- 33 percent -- think spending will slow.


In any case, it is a good idea to take studies like this with a grain of salt. Such an informal survey is unlikely to inspire people to dig deep and ask themselves what really will happen as profits dip. It also may do a better job of finding out what IT pros want to do -- not what their CFO and CEO will demand. Keep in mind that organizations don't universally pay as close attention as they should to security when budgets were flush, so they may become even more lax in bad times.


Geographic borders are largely immaterial on the Internet, of course, so it is important to track what is happening everywhere. PC World reports that IDC says security spending will increase in Western Europe despite the downturn in the economy. In U.S. dollars, the story says, security spending will increase to $19.9 billion, a 17.3 percent increase over 2007. The growth rate will decline to 11.8 percent by 2012, the firm reports. New rules in Western Europe will make online banking security a growth area.


Spending is increasing in the Asia-Pacific region as well, according to Gartner. ZDNet reports that the firm predicts revenues from the security software sector of the Chinese market will reach $169.2 million this year and $266.8 million in 2012. Overall, the region will produce security software revenues of $731.7 million this year and $1.05 billion in 2012, a compound annual growth rate of 10.5 percent. Increases also are predicted for Singapore and the Philippines, the story says.


Last month, Cisco released the final set of findings from its annual security study. The company says 60 percent of IT decision makers plan to increase spending. The survey, which covered 10 countries including the United States, found that the highest percentage of IT professionals who plan to spend more are in China, India and Brazil. These countries began corporate use of Internet and Internet protocol (IP) networking relatively recently, the study says.


Of course, billions of dollars will be spent this year on Internet security. The question is whether organizations will go the extra mile in the face of an economy that is growing more frail by the day. I.T. Wales reports on a Forrester survey of 2,000 security decisions makers in the United States and Europe that suggests SMBs spend proportionally more on security than enterprises. The top challenges to security deployments are inadequate budget, lack of in-house skills and excessive workloads. All these conditions are likely to grow worse as the economy falters.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
May 2, 2008 11:00 AM Jim Kilgour Jim Kilgour  says:
I appreciate very much how comprehensive and detailed your article was. Thanks. Reply

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