More security spending planned by Irish firms

5 Jan 2005

Many Irish organisations are planning to acquire new IT security technology or upgrade existing systems and most intend to spend more money on this area over the coming year, new survey data has revealed.

According to IDC, which conducted the research, 63pc of respondents forecast an increase in their IT security budget and only 4pc predict a decline. Of those expecting to grow their budgets, the increases will be mostly modest; 59pc predicted a rise of less than 20pc.

However, almost a quarter of the survey set plan to spend significantly more, as 24pc claimed an increase of at least 30pc. On average, IT security represents 6pc of the reported allocation of the IT budget.

The survey identified several key security issues for Irish organisations: ensuring business continuity – with its related area of disaster recovery – which is aimed at keeping the organisation running or at least minimising possible interruptions to the business. Remote and wireless access is another important issue identified in the survey. Controlling the flow of information and who can view it is also seen as important, the research found.

The study also asked respondents what they would have done if their 2003 IT budget had been 10pc greater than it actually was. General IT security was the most popular response, cited by 15pc. A further 12pc specified that they would spend the extra money on an intrusion detection system.

Duncan Brown, director of consulting at IDC in the UK, commented: “As the complexity of IT infrastructures has increased, so has the sophistication of security threats. This new research demonstrates that enterprises are increasingly aware of the potential threats throughout the business. As well as spending on the traditional virus protection and firewalls they plan to invest in 3A software [authentication, authorisation and administration], plus intrusion detection and protection software.”

Brown added that the security hardware market was maturing and an increasing portion of budgets was being allocated to projects in areas such as biometrics, tokens and smart cards for network or appliance authentication, and hardware-based intrusion detection appliances.

By Gordon Smith