Study: SMB security spending on the rise

May 29, 2012

While overall IT spending in small and medium-sized businesses is on the rise, spending on IT security in those companies is growing at an even higher rate, according to a study by the International Data Corporation. The study found that IT security spending is expected to increase at nearly twice the 5 or 6 percent anticipated growth rate of total IT investment in near future. IDC predicts SMB spending on security technology will pass the $5.6 billion mark in 2015.

The study showed increases in security spending all across the spectrum, as products for identity and access management, web security and other key areas will all have high rates of growth over the forecast period. Cloud spending has also begun to make security software-as-a-service a major priority for many companies, according to IDC.

IT security in a new age
IDC proposes that the changing landscape of business technology has seen mobile and cloud security take on new levels of prominence. As SMBs look to move over to these newer technologies, the necessity to have a strong enough security infrastructure to support data protection for these services becomes a greater priority than with older systems.

"SMBs are more focused on security as a way to gain access to more capabilities, but less focused on security as a cost to be reduced once minimum standards are met," said the VP for SMB market research at IDC, Ray Boggs.

Mobile SMBs
The growth of bring-your-own-device policies has created security concerns - even as the move to mobile technology has been rapidly increasing, according to a study by a network management company. The study found that 75 percent of SMBs manage some form of BYOD policy, with the biggest increase being in the use of tablets.

Concern reigns supreme with these newly mobile SMBs, as up to 45 percent of IT professionals at the companies are not sure how to manage the introduction of so many new devices. Twenty-five percent of the administrators claim that BYOD has already caused a headache for their department to manage, even as they see its potential for the future.

Key spending
Firms attach a greater importance to IT security the larger they become, according to IDC. For firms with between 100 and 999 employees, 36 percent marked improving security management as a key IT spending priority, versus 19 percent for companies with fewer than 100 employees.

Among the fastest growth areas when it comes to IT security are security SaaS appliances - among general SaaS spending - with an anticipated growth rate in the double digits in the next few years.

-McAfee Cloud Security