IT security budgets expected to rise

The latest projections by analysts at the Meta Group point to security budgets reaching 12 percent of total money spent on information technology by 2006.

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Enterprise investment in information technology security in the United States is likely to hit 12 percent of total IT budgets over the next couple of years, according to a new study.

The average security investment will peak at 8 percent to 12 percent by 2006 in the United States and reach the same level in Europe and Asia by 2007. These budgets will stabilize between 5 percent and 8 percent by 2008 in the United States and in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region by 2009, the Meta Group said in a new study released on Monday.

The average spending on IT security in Global 2000 companies currently is 4 percent of their IT budget, the market researcher said. The figure has been rising--much faster in the United States due to concerns that include computer crime. The rate of increase has been much slower in Europe.

In the Asia-Pacific region, mature economies such as Singapore in Japan are seeing a rise similar to Europe's. Other maturing markets, such as Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, are only beginning to invest in security.

Recent surveys of U.S. businesses show that security software figures among top priority items in their growing IT budgets.

"Information security remains a top-five issue for CIOs, and the debate regarding appropriate investment levels continues to rage," Tom Scholtz, vice president of the Meta Group's Security and Risk Strategies advisory service, said in a statement. "Although capturing and benchmarking information security spending is complicated, security teams must model overall investment to track parity with industry peers and account for the cost of satisfying business requirements for managing information risk."