IT security increasingly a cash cow

Overall budgets unchanged but security's slice of the pie still getting bigger...
Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor on

Overall budgets unchanged but security's slice of the pie still getting bigger...

Security spending continues to grow despite a capping of overall IT budgets.

Figures released by Meta Group show two-thirds of companies increased their security spend this year.

Security now accounts for 8.2 per cent of the total IT budget, up from 7.6 per cent in 2002, according to Meta's 2004 Worldwide IT Benchmark Report.

This year there have been a number of high-profile security threats and the renaissance of the computer virus, with MS Blast, Slammer and SoBig dominating the headlines.

Given increasingly prominent issues such as tightening data protection laws and securing technologies such as Wi-Fi, a picture emerges of a constantly evolving security market. These developments mean companies are constantly reviewing, updating and expanding the security of their IT infrastructure.

It's the one area where companies are unable to adopt a 'let's make do with what we've got' attitude because the costs associated with getting security wrong can be far greater than the costs of getting it right.

Other areas identified by Meta as driving security spending include business continuity and disaster recovery.

Dr Howard Rubin, Meta Group executive VP and author of the 2004 Worldwide IT Benchmark Report, said in a statement: "Aside from security spending, we also saw an increase in development activity. Because of tightened budgets, more emphasis was placed on integrating and extending existing applications rather than implementing new packaged applications."

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