IT security spending by U.S. Federal Government to increase to $7.3 billion in 2017, says IDC

IT security spending by U.S. Federal Government will rise from $5.9 billion in 2012 to over $7.3 billion in 2017, said IDC.

Overall security spending has been trickling upward at an average rate of about 4 percent per year, IDC said.

Different agencies are investing in IT security at different rates, and most have distinct focuses depending on their existing legacy systems and what they need to improve.

Shawn P McCarthy, research director, IDC Government Insights, said many agencies are reviewing how their move to cloud-based solutions might affect their overall IT security posture and many are finding that unified threat management (UTM) solutions are becoming increasingly popular. Federal UTM spending will rise from $213.8 million in 2012 to over $541.4 million in 2017.

IDC says most IT security spending goes toward staff salaries. This is because security scanning and proactive mitigation efforts still have a heavy manual component, with people needed to set configuration and to make decisions when threats are detected. Most years staff salaries account for between 85 percent and 91 percent of total spending.

Staffing will be growing to $6.2 billion by 2017, firewall spending growing to $249.6 million, unified threat management growing to $541.4 million, intrusion detection and prevention growing to $226.3 million, and virtual private network spending growing to $80.9 million.

Right now, about 40 percent of IT staffing for security management goes to contractors and that will grow to about 60 percent by 2017, as more government IT services move into the cloud.

Meanwhile, the U.S. intelligence budget for FY13 was set at $52.3 billion, with an additional $400 million in spending across other government agencies, which require some level of interaction of data sharing with the intelligence community.

Many government agencies spend an average of 4.5 percent to 6.7 percent of their total annual budget on IT solutions.

Intelligence agencies tend to have a higher need for computing solutions, which prompts many of them to spend more than 15 percent of their annual budgets on different types of information technology or data gathering technologies. For an organization such as the National Security Agency, which is focused heavily on signal intelligence, communications, and data analysis, that percentage can climb to more than 30 percent.

On average, about 22.5 percent of the black intelligence budget is targeted at various types of IT solutions.

Overall intelligence spending is expected to rise to about $9.5 billion (18.8 percent) between 2013 and 2017.

The IT portion of the overall intelligence spending is expected to grow by up to 33.6 percent. Much of this will go toward additional data collection technologies and flexible large-scale computing platforms.

Spending by the CIA is the largest of any spy agency, with $14.8 billion requested for 2013. That’s nearly 70 percent higher than the next largest intelligence agency, the National Security Agency.

Counterterrorism programs account for about 25 percent of the members of the intelligence workforce. These programs also represent about 33 percent of all intelligence spending.

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