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Security Spending on the Rise, CompTIA Says

Security now accounts for 20 percent of IT technology and training budget, according to new survey

A new survey suggests that IT security spending, long rumored to be flattening out, may actually be on the rise again.

According to a study of more than 1,000 organizations released today by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), enterprises spent 20 percent of their total technology budgets on security-related expenses last year. That's up from 15 percent in 2005, and 12 percent in 2004.

"It is clear that information security is an increasing concern for many organizations -- 78 percent of those surveyed indicate that management now considers information security a top priority," the report says.

The CompTIA survey paints a higher growth curve than several other studies issued earlier this year, which suggest that security spending, while still on the upswing, is beginning to level off.

The Computer Security Institute, for example, said in its annual survey that almost half of respondents are now spending between 1 and 5 percent of their IT budgets on security. This is a leveling-out over last year, when 34 percent of respondents spent more than 6 percent, and 47 percent spent 2 percent or less. (See Security Spending: In the Red?)

A study published earlier this year by Forrester Research projects that enterprises will spend between 7.5 and 9 percent of their IT budgets on security this year.

CompTIA suggests that one factor may account for the disparity in its numbers compared to those of other market studies: training. The CompTIA study looked at spending on training -- both for end users and for IT pros -- in its study as well as the costs of technology.

"For each dollar spent on security, about 42 cents is allocated for technology product purchases; 17 cents for security-related processes; 15 cents for training; 12 cents for assessments; 9 cents for certification; and the balance on other items," CompTIA says.

While some enterprises may be slowing their spending on security technology, there is a general increase in budget allocations for training, CompTIA says.

"Overall, there is a significant increase in the percentage of companies that require IT security training for employees," the study states. "The percentage of organizations that require training for new employees doubled to 12 percent in 2006." One third of respondents expect to increase spending on security training in the coming year, CompTIA says.

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Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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