Input: IT security spending to catch its breath

The quadrupling of federal spending to make information technology more secure was a phenomenon of the post-Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and will not continue at such levels, Input market research analysts said yesterday. But they expect modest spending increases of 4 percent on average for the next five years.

Input's market research analysts said Office of Management and Budget officials will use their budget authority as much as possible to eliminate inefficient IT security spending in the fiscal 2007 budget planning process. “We’re expecting OMB to be relatively tight about funding in this area,” said Payton Smith, Input’s director of public-sector market analysis, who spoke yesterday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Funding for the Bush administration’s E-Authentication initiative, a security program created to verify people’s identities online, is healthy, Smith said. About $10 million is allocated for the program in 14 agency budgets in fiscal 2006, he said. “Each has about $500,000 earmarked for E-Authentication.”

A milestone for the initiative is scheduled for September, Smith said. Some of the largest agencies hope to be ready by then to use identity credentials based on the federal government’s public-key infrastructure to gain authorized access to at least 200 PKI-enabled federal applications.

George Schu, vice president of security company VeriSign, who spoke at yesterday's Input briefing, said that “E-Authentication is going to be embedded in the fabric of everything we do.”

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