Security spending forecast: $6B

By 2008, the federal government will spend almost $6 billion annually on information security, an increase of about 43 percent over 2003's $4.2 billion, according to a new report from research firm Input.

The predicted increases reflect a "more normal" rate of growth than the spending spikes that came in the wake of Sept. 11, said Payton Smith, the firm's manager of federal market analysis. However, he noted that agencies still face challenges in implementing systems and so will continue to contract with vendors.

The report attributes the drive for information security investment to strong oversight from Congress and the Office of Management and Budget. The new Homeland Security Department is also serving as a coordination point for governmentwide security initiatives, the report concludes.

The prediction generally parallels a similar forecast about information technology spending in general that Input issued in April. Input's Federal IT Market Forecast predicts that overall IT spending will rise from $45.4 billion to $68.2 billion from 2003 through 2008.

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