Businesses, armies and governments spent nearly $60 billion on cyber security in 2011, a report by accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers said on Monday.
The US accounted for nearly half the expenditure on attacking and defending against rivals’ telecom and information technology systems. The market is expected to grow 10 per cent a year for the next three to five years, the report said.
Companies were spending more than states in seeking shelter against hackers.
“In most countries, the private sector accounts for the majority of cyber security spending. The notable exception is the US where government spending is almost equal to that of the private sector.”
Growing threats to information systems had contributed to the increase in those sums. This year, 24,000 files were stolen from a US defence contractor while the hacking of Sony’s PlayStation network cost the company $171 million.
Technological development has increased the ways hackers can break down systems while the growing spread of smartphones and cloud computing have allowed organisations to share more information, the report said.
Large software and hardware makers have their sights set. In the first six months of the year, they spent nearly $10.2 billion on takeovers in the industry.
Intel, a designer of chips, bought McAfee for $7.8 billion in February while another hardware maker, Dell, took over SecureWorks for $612 million in August. The report expected more deals in the future.
‘Tough for states to meet fiscal targets’
A few state governments may find it difficult to meet the fiscal targets set by the Thirteenth Finance Commission (TFC) in 2011-12, according to a study.
The fiscal targets set by the TFC require 19 of the 28 Indian States to eliminate their revenue deficits and curtail their financing gaps (defined as revenue balance plus capital receipts less capital outlay and net lending) to 3 per cent of gross state domestic product (GSDP) in 2011-12.
ICRA, in a study based on the 2011-12 budgets of a sample of states said that although some states measures in place to augment revenues, thee moderating outlook is likely to have a bearing on the pace of revenue growth in the near term, even as the ability of the state governments to curtail the growth of committed expenditures is likely to be limited.