India's SMBs to spend US$291M on security in 2009

Country's small and midsize businesses will spend 73 percent of their data security budget on security software, says AMI-Partners.

Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in India will spend US$291 million on security-related investments in 2009, said AMI-Partners.

In a study released Wednesday, the analyst firm reported that security software accounts for 73 percent of the total SMB security expenditure.

Abhilash DB, an AMI-Partners analyst, said in the report, most of this amount is spent on antivirus software.

"Security for small businesses is confined mainly to the deployment of an antivirus solution and the majority of them lack proper processes and policies for security management," said Abhilash.

The data explosion, electronic threats and increased use of Web-based offerings are some of the "triggers" for the adoption of security products, he added.

India's SMBs have realized that data security is not only about adopting security products but also formulating structured policies.

Managed security services (MSS) was identified as one of the key trends in the SMB security space. AMI-Partners expects the MSS market to grow 21 percent this year.

But, AMI-Partners said, the main challenge of service providers will be to convince SMBs to trust external organizations to handle their internal security. The research firm however foresees greater traction in this space once SMBs start to realize security is better managed by MSS providers, as compared to generalists in their IT departments.

Another trend is the increasing adoption of unified threat management (UTM). Adoption will increase as SMBs look for a proactive and unified approach to securing IT infrastructures, according to Abhilash.

AMI-Partners identified SMBs as the most vulnerable segment in terms of data security as they lack expertise to handle cyber threats, the number of which has been increasing.

Information security has also become significantly important with businesses showing a rising dependence on Web-based enterprise offerings and the sharing of critical data on corporate networks.

Demand by Indian SMBs for traditional security products such as antivirus programs is falling, while antispyware and antispam will experience 26 percent growth in demand from such companies in India this year.

Basic security offerings such as network firewalls and IDS/IPS (intrusion detection system/intrusion prevention system) will also show significant growth among these businesses.

Based in Singapore, Konrad Foo is an intern with ZDNet Asia.

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