At a time when Australian companies are facing increased security problems – with no fewer than 242 data breaches recorded in the three months to June 30 (CDN, Aug. 1) – the nation appears to be falling well behind world trends in its spending on security, new figures from market research firm Gartner suggest.

Gartner’s latest global forecast for spending on information security products and services shows spending across the world is set to increase 12.4 percent this year to more than US$114 billion.

But in Australia, security spending this year is expected to grow by just six percent – less than half the global rate – to reach around A$3.5 billion, Gartner reports. Next year that’s tipped to rise 9.8 percent to almost $3.9 billion – but that still remains well below the global trend,

No reason for the lag by Australian entities has been given at this stage, but it seems certain to arise next week when the lead analyst on Gartner’s global forecast, Sid Deshpande, is due in Sydney to speak at Gartner’s Security and Risk Management summit on August 20-21.

In his global report, Deshpande said that highly publicised data breaches, like a recent attack that compromised the personal health records of 1.5 million patients in Singapore, had reinforced the need to view sensitive data and IT systems as critical infrastructure.

“Security and risk management has to be a critical part of any digital business initiative,” he said.