APAC defies spending downturn increases security spending

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Security spending remains steady in Asia-Pacific despite the global economic downturn, according to a new Gartner survey.

Organisations in Australia, China and India spent a larger proportion of their IT budgets on security in 2008 compared to 2007, according to a Gartner survey.

Forty-percent of Asia-Pacific organisations surveyed said their 2008 IT security budget increased from 2007, while 45 percent claimed it had remained ‘about the same’.

However, 18 percent of Australian respondents said they were spending ‘significantly more’ or ‘somewhat more’ in 2008 compared to 46 percent in China and 56 percent in India.

“This reflects the difference between mature and emerging markets, which are still hungry for security solutions,” said Matthew Cheung, senior research analyst at Gartner.

“This level of spending is relatively high compared to organisations surveyed in Western Europe and North America,” said Cheung.

This may be due in part to the heavy concentration of small and mid-size businesses in Asia-Pacific region, as well as a relative lack of maturity in security, added Cheung.

Gartner will release its further research and analysis at Gartner’s IT Security Summit in Sydney this month.

According to Gartner, the average percentage of the IT budget dedicated to security in Asia-Pacific is around 15 percent and data security is the top driver for security spending.

Organisations in the three countries surveyed, reflected growing concerns about personal data privacy, especially in government, financial services and healthcare.

However, more than 30 percent did not include standards or government regulations on the list of what is driving their IT security spending.

"Compliance is more important in mature markets where governments are increasingly enforcing laws and regulations,” said Cheung.

In September, Gartner released it's latest security software market forecast which found sales of antivirus technologies will slow in the next five years as enterprises broaden their use of security technologies.

Gartner surveyed 50 organisations in Australia, 54 in China and 52 in India in March 2008.
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