The average security investment will peak at eight to12 percent of information technology (IT) budgets in the United States by 2006, and in Europe and the Asia Pacific region by 2007, according to META Group, Inc.
These budgets will stabilize at five to eight percent in the United States by 2008 and in Europe and the Asia Pacific region by 2009.

"Information security remains a top-five issue for CIOs, and the debate regarding appropriate investment levels continues to rage," said Tom Scholtz, vice president with META Group's Security & Risk Strategies advisory service. "Although capturing and benchmarking information security spending is complicated, security teams must model overall investment to track parity with industry peers and account for the cost of satisfying business requirements for managing information risk."

META Group research indicates that the average information security spending in Global 2000 organizations is currently about four percent of the IT budget, which represents a continuing increase from previous years. In Europe, the rate of increase in security spending has been significantly slower than that witnessed in the United States, primarily because of the lower intensity of publicity regarding compliance issues and cybercrime. The picture in the Asia Pacific region is even more variable, with the more mature economies (Singapore, Japan, Australia, and South Korea) reflecting patterns that are predominantly similar to those of the European countries. The maturing markets in the Asia Pacific region (Malaysia, Thailand, and Philippines) are just beginning to invest in security, with spending rates expected to increase in the near future.

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