Small-Business Security Spending to Top $5.6B in 2015: IDC

Adoption of cloud computing and mobile devices is boosting IT security spending among small businesses, according to an IDC report.

Small and midsize businesses' spending on security technology is growing at a healthy clip and is set to pass $5.6 billion in 2015, according to a new report from IDC. In fact, SMBs' spending on security products and services is projected to nearly double the 5 percent to 6 percent annual growth projected for SMBs' overall IT spending, the report said.

The increasing adoption of cloud computing and the prevalence of connected mobile devices€”not to mention IT€™s struggles with fast-growing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs€”have sparked growth in SMBs' security spending, according to IDC.

Charles Kolodgy, IDC's vice president of security products, highlighted the expansion in key capabilities, particularly Web-based ones, as a driving force behind small-business investment in security. "Small and medium-sized businesses have as much need for information technology as much larger companies," Kolodgy said in prepared remarks. "They also require security because they are a target of cyber-criminals. But there are unique issues that prevent SMBs from just buying what large enterprises purchase."

Endpoint, messaging, network, Web, identity and access management (IAM), and security and vulnerability management (SVM) are the six most important security product areas, the report said. IDC predicted that these markets would exhibit strong growth through 2015, and that SMB spending on software as a service (SaaS) and security appliances will grow at double-digit rates in the coming years, offering new opportunities for technology suppliers.

IDC also noted in the report that an effective Website, education, dedicated products, appliances, SaaS and channel support were six critical areas for supplier success in the SMB space, but also pointed out that it was unlikely for a supplier to dominate all six areas of the market, though some may have the expertise to stand out in three or four specific areas. SMBs in general have a keen eye toward IT security investment, with just under a fifth of survey respondents with less than 100 employees citing security management and improvement as a top priority. Among midsize firms (100 to 999 employees), 36 percent of respondents felt the same way, according to the report.

"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," Ray Boggs, vice president for small and medium business markets research at IDC said in a prepared statement. "To meet the needs of SMB customers, vendors need to understand three components," Boggs continued. "These are: understanding the big picture SMB opportunity, understanding the product needs of SMB prospects, and understanding the SMB purchase process."