Security Bytes

Sep 8 2009   7:49PM GMT

Security industry remains resilient to tough economy

Robert Westervelt Robert Westervelt Profile: Robert Westervelt

A new survey from Gartner Inc. is confirming what industry analysts and experts have said over the last year and a half: The Security industry is resilient to the tough economy.

Gartner is predicting a slight increase in security spending in 2010. A survey conducted in April and May of 1,000 IT professionals showed security software budgets expected to grow by about 4% in 2010, outpacing all other areas of infrastructure software. Security services budgets are expected to grow nearly 3%.

“In the current highly uncertain economic environment, with overall IT budgets shrinking, even the modest spending increases indicated by the survey show that security spending accounts for a higher percentage of the IT budget,” said Adam Hils, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Security decision makers should work to allocate limited budgets based on enterprise-specific security needs and risk assessments.”

Specific areas that could expect spending growth:

  • Security information and event management (SIEM)
  • e-mail security
  • URL filtering
  • user provisioning

In June Gartner said increased interest in managed security services is driving much of the growth in the specific areas above as well as the reliance on third-party compliance consulting and vulnerability audits and scans.

At the time, Hils told me security budgets were pretty flat in 2009 while IT budgets were in decline. Companies are buying from a single security vendor offering a suite of security offerings rather than niche players. Spending on firewalls and intrusion protection systems remains strong, especially where encryption and data leakage prevention is being done, Hils said earlier this summer

Still, I wrote a story talking about some security pros having trouble navigating an increasingly competitive security job market. Perhaps the move to managed security services has enabled some firms to cut on-site security jobs.

Salary expectations need to come down as well, so we’re not signaling an all-clear for the security industry. A 4% security spending increase, as stated above by Gartner, is a standard or even slightly substandard increase. The economy has taken its toll across the board.

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