NEWS

Companies Spend 10 Percent of Operating Budget on IT Security

By Matthew Harwood

Companies are spending as much as 10 percent of their operating budgets on IT security as malicious threats proliferate and information security becomes ever more important to firms and their executives, according to ComputerWorldUK.com.

The boost in IT security spending rose 2 percent over last year, according to Forrester Research. And the trend should continue into next year, the article reports.

In a survey of 1,255 security decision-makers at North American companies, 21% expect to increase IT security spending in 2009, compared with 6% who expect security spending to decrease. The rest will keep their security budgets stable. Those are impressive numbers in this economy, analyst Khalid Kark said in a keynote during Forrester's Security Forum in Boston.

Kark told his audience that he remembered a time when IT security only accounted for 4 percent of a company's operating budget. Times, however, have changed as data breaches have resulted in lawsuits, which, in turn, have attracted media coverage that has made executives take notice of IT security.

"We've all been frustrated in making the case for information security, getting [the business executives] to buy in," ComputerWorldUK quotes Kark as saying .... "I remember the time when I had to wait two weeks to get a meeting with the CIO, let alone the CEO."

For the past four years, CIOs say that informaiton security is their top priority, while half of thesecurity decision-makers surveyed report they have much tighter relationships with CEOs and companies' board of directors, according to Forrester Research.

"Security," Forrester Research says, "is no longer embedded in IT."

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