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Global IT security spend hits $42bn

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Buoyed by a tidal wave of computer viruses, security breaches, legal liability and productivity concerns, worldwide IT security spending hit $42bn in 2003. The Western European information security software market accounted for almost $2.5bn of that.

The total represents just under five per cent of total IT spending - and slightly less than the $43bn spent on printers and multifunction peripherals last year. However, IDC predicts that IT security spending will grow from 4.8 per cent to seven per cent of overall IT budgets by 2007.

IDC also believes that the continuing focus on security bodes well for opportunities within the sector. Corporate concerns with regulatory compliance, spam, worms/viruses, and identity management will help to drive the security software market to achieve more than $5bn in 2008, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 15 per cent.

"IT security investments remain a top priority for most European organizations. This, of course, gives the security industry the opportunity to move beyond a predominantly insurance-type sales approach (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) and instead deliver on the promise of holistic, tailor-made security concepts that enable organizations to literally 'mind their own business'," said Thomas Raschke, program manager of IDC's European security products and strategies research.

According to IDC research - sponsored by Cisco Systems - human error and the time taken to maintain a network between attacks is making businesses vulnerable, concerns that help validate Cisco's push to embed security into computer networks. IDC predicts that the mobile security software market will grow at a faster clip than the market as a whole, thanks to the boom of remote access. This segment will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 71 per cent, reaching $1.27bn worldwide by 2007. ®

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