Federal cybersecurity spending expected to rise

By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor

Despite a push to cut the deficit on the Hill, cybersecurity spending is expected to continue to rise in the next several years.

A new report by INPUT predicts federal investment in information security will increase to more than $13-billion by 2015 at a compound annual growth rate of more than nine percent. That’s nearly twice the rate of overall federal IT spending.

John Slye, principal analyst for INPUT’s report on the Federal Information Security Market from 2010 to 2015, told Federal News Radio, cybersecurity is no place to look for low hanging fruit when it comes to spending cuts.


According to Slye, the debate, especially in Congress, centers around how to “protect our critical infrastructure within this country; the energy grid, the food supply, water supply, et cetera. The scope of what is considered cyber continues to increase, so we’re just at the beginning of this discussion really.”

At the heart of the spending, said Slye, is “everyday information security. Everything from botnets to denial of service to intrusion detection.”

The report finds spending will be largely for services, “but also in areas where you can have software tools and improved hardware to help with your identity management and any other training tools as well.” The services/people side, said Slye, is expensive, so government is looking for tools to maximize people efforts.

According to the report, watch for steady sector growth over the next few years, then as the tools become available and mature, “accelerated growth in the out years, 2014, 2015.”

I think you’re going to see significant investments over the next several years simply because we are making progress, but we still have a long way to go. And one of the things that is so elusive is, as we continue to invest and we continue to make strides, folks that are intending harm toward our networks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, increasingly coordinated, increasingly diligent. And as you talk to anyone within government they’ll tell you that it’s not the attacks that they know about that scare them the most. It’s the ones they don’t know about that keep them awake at night.

This story is part of Federal News Radio’s daily Cybersecurity Update brought to you by Tripwire. For more cybersecurity news, click here.