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4/24/2008
01:40 PM
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Small And Midsize Businesses' IT Security Budgets 'Recession-Proof'

Despite overall economic difficulties, survey respondents say they still plan to invest in technology this year.

IT security budgets remain stable despite overall economic difficulties, a recent survey found.

Security vendor Astaro surveyed 300 attendees at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, Calif., from April 7 to April 11. They found that 67% of the respondents said they do not see their security spending behavior affected by a recession this year.

However, IT spending growth is expected to be modest this year, compared to 2007, according to Astaro, and other reports indicate that overall IT spending could slow down.

A Gartner Research report, "User Survey Analysis: IT Spending Plans in the SMB Market, North America, 2008," released in February, also predicted increases in spending. It said that small businesses will increase IT spending by about 3.25% and midsize businesses by 5.34% over last year.

"Many SMB administrators are looking to consolidate and simplify their security solutions in order to cut back costs and workload," Astaro CEO Jan Hichert said in a statement.

The company's security solution integrates network, Web, and e-mail security and is managed through a browser-based user interface. Astaro Security Gateway is available as a software, hardware, or virtual appliance, to protect against Internet threats.

Astaro said that IT security spending appears recession-proof and budget cuts seem unlikely. However, the company warned that businesses are still looking for ways to cut costs and stretch their money.

There are also warning signs from the OPEN, American Express Small Business Monitor's semi-annual survey of 637 small business owners and managers at companies with less than 100 employees.

It found that 28% of small business owners and managers plan to invest in new technology over the next six months. That's the lowest figure since spring 2003, when just 25% of those respondents planned to invest in technology. It's down 11% from the last survey, in spring 2007, when 39% of small business owners and managers said they planned to spend on new technology.

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