Security fears outweigh budget restraints

Spending on security and software services set to grow 4 per cent in 2010.

Despite shrinking budgets, IT departments will increase their spending on security software and services by up to 4 per cent in 2010, according to research company Gartner, outpacing investment elsewhere.

The findings were published on the same day that Microsoft issued five new critical security patches for its Windows 7, Vista, and Server 2008 operating systems. Other software companies reporting vulnerabilities over the last week included IBM, McAfee, HP, Sun, CA, Adobe, Google and Norton, said Andrew Clarke, senior vice president at security software company Lumension.

Gartner surveyed 1,000 IT professionals with budget responsibility during April and May this year. It found that security information and event management (SIEM), email security, URL filtering and user provisioning - network access to applications and data - as specific areas for potential investment.

It also highlights a growing preference for managed security services, cloud based email and web security provision, and outsourced compliance related consulting and vulnerability scans. This suggests many organisations are hoping to trim operational costs by switching to on demand, pay as you go, security services rather than upgrading in-house hardware and software.

And Gartner principal research analyst Ruggero Contu warned that organisations should consider spending more on security. “New threats or vulnerabilities may require security spending that exceeds the amounts allocated,” he said in a statement.

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