More Indian SMBs prioritizing IT security

SMBs in the country plan to invest more than US$130 million in 2006, over 50 percent higher than what was spent last year, according to new research.

IT security spending by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in India has grown significantly over the last two years, according to a new study by AMI-Partners.

SMBs in the country are expected to spend US$134 million on IT security this year, up 53 percent from that in 2005, the research company said in a statement late Wednesday. Last year, the market grew 63 percent over 2004.

The increase in spending reflects the growing awareness of SMBs in protection against security threats, noted Neha Jalan, an analyst at AMI-Partners.

"Many SMBs have experienced the damage that online viruses can inflict," the Kolkata-based Jalan said. "With the explosive growth of the Internet, the advent of broadband 'always-on' technology, and the increased prevalence of viruses and malicious worms, data security has assumed greater significance," she added.

According to Jalan, the rise in adoption of security solutions is a result of internal and external factors, such as the integration of various business applications, broadband connectivity, and increased interaction with global business partners.

SMBs in India are also looking at more sophisticated offerings--increasingly opting for integrated security solutions rather than point-based security ones, said Jalan. The integrated security segment is one of the fastest growing markets in SMB security, she added.

The study also found that over 80 percent of SMBs already have in place antivirus software, although when it comes to dealing with unsolicited e-mail, only 30 percent of the medium-sized companies have antispam measures.

Last month, a separate study by AMI-Partners projected that SMBs in Singapore will increase their IT security spending this year by 20 percent to US$46 million.

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