The major reason for such spending, explains Ruggero Contu, Gartner's principal research analyst, continues to be preventing bad guys from compromising company computer networks by investing in next-generation firewalls while allowing good guys in through identity and access management. The latter allows companies to see some return on investment in their security expenditures, he said.
Another main catalyst is government regulation, particulary the U.S.'s Sarbanes-Oxley Act, where the possible economic damage done by a breach justifies such security investments.
Smaller firms are also getting in on the act.
[Contu] added that small and midsize businesses (SMBs), specifically, are intensifying their focus on security technology and services and gradually moving from stand-alone applications toward integrated multifunction products.
Gartner already forecasts that spending on security software will continue to grow and reach $13.1 billion in 2012. Revenues, Gartner says, will continue to grow as major players, Google and Microsoft, enter the antivirus and e-mail security markets.