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Asian SMBs to spend US$2.8B on security

Small and midsize businesses in the region are expected to increase their expenditure on IT security tools by 26 percent in 2008, says AMI-Partners.

Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in the Asia-Pacific region will invest approximately US$2.8 billion to boost their IT security infrastructure in 2008, according to a new report.

In its survey released Tuesday, AMI-Partners said SMBs in the region are projected to increase their IT security spending by some 26 percent next year.

Four key markets--Australia, South Korea, India and China--will account for over 75 percent of Asia's total security spend, of which China alone will account for more than 33 percent of the region's overall expenditure.

"Nearly 25 percent of the total spend will continue to remain in traditional security areas such as antivirus, anti-spam and anti-phishing software," Nishant Dave, Singapore-based research director for AMI-Partners Asia-Pacific, said in a statement.

"However, this only forms the first layer of basic protection that SMBs in the region are considering from a security point of view," Dave said. "SMBs in the region are now looking at expanding the domain of their security investments to match the scale of their current IT infrastructure and their expansion plans."

According to AMI-Partners, SMBs will increasingly look at setting up network-based security tools as they evolve from building basic IT infrastructures to deploying technologies that enable intra-enterprise connectivity servers, Web sites and high-speed broadband.

As such, these products will involve deploying network firewalls, improving e-mail security, document access control and encryption-enabling tools, the research house said.

Dave noted: "More than 200,000 new SMBs across the Asia-Pacific region will deploy a network firewall solution in 2008 in a bid to protect their evolved IT infrastructure."

AMI-Partners also projected that medium-sized businesses, with between 100 and 999 employees, in the Asia-Pacific region will spend US$1.77 billion on security products in 2008, an increase of some 27 percent over 2007.

About 25 percent of this investment will go toward acquiring security-related services, which include product support as well as professional services around architecting and managing their security infrastructure.

"Security spending by [medium-sized businesses] in China and India is on track to grow by more than 25 percent in 2008 over 2007," Dave said. "[Medium-sized businesses] in both mature and emerging markets will remain the sweet spot of advanced IT security spend in 2008."