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Data Security Now 10 Percent of IT Operating Budgets

September 9, 2008

Data Security Now 10 Percent of IT Operating Budgets

CSO Online, September 5, 2008

IT security budgets are seeing more attention (and money for that matter) over the recent years thanks in part to increased CEO participation and an overall growing concern of data breaches. According to a recent Forrester Research study of more than a thousand security decision-makers at North American companies, 10 percent of IT operating budgets is devoted to security in 2008, an increase from 8 percent last year and 21 percent of respondents expect to the budget to increase in 2009. Considering the bleak economy we’re currently in, these results are surprising to some industry leaders.

“I remember when the security budget was less than 4 percent of the IT budget,” said Khalid Kark, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research. “This number is amazing. In this tough economic time, three out of four of us are saying we’re going to keep this 10 percent budget and one in five of us are saying we’re going to increase this budget in the next 12 months. Wow, that’s great.”

While these bigger budgets are causing some IT security gurus to anticipate more scrutiny and higher expectations, some are satisfied with the increased amount of face time with leading executives. After all, where a CEO’s money goes, so does his/her focus of attention.

“We’ve all been frustrated in making the case for information security, getting [the business executives] to buy in” said Kark. “But I think times have changed. I remember the time when I had to wait two weeks to get a meeting with the CIO, let alone the CEO.”

How is your 2009 budget shaping up? Are you finding yourself making IT security a higher priority compared to the years past? Let is know your stats and if you’re seeing the same trend Forrester uncovered.

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