No Cut in IT Security Budgets: McAfee

by Balakrishnan, UTVi    Mar 06, 2009

IT security firm McAfee said Indian IT companies are not cutting down their security spend despite the economic slowdown.

CEO David DeWalt told UTVi that cyber-crime worldwide had shot up drastically during the slowdown, resulting in a loss of $1 trillion in 2008 alone.

Unlike other IT-related companies battling the slowdown, IT security firms like McAfee have their hands full with the incidence of cyber-crime increasing especially during these tough times.

Global sales for antivirus software have surged in the last quarter for McAfee with India being among the fastest growing regions. DeWalt said Indian IT companies are increasingly putting security on top of their IT spend thus avoiding any sort of rationalisation.

"We still see a lot of urgency to solve security problems. Again the brand reputation can be affected badly if there is a problem. So they don’t want to cut costs in the area of security. I think they are mindful of costs no doubt, but there is not one Chief Information Officer or a C-level executive who is saying ‘How do I save money even if I have to compromise security a bit’," DeWalt said.

Recent reports have indicated that during the economic crisis in 2008 over $1 trillion were lost through cyber crime related thefts especially. McAfee expects this trend to increase in 2009 with security being breached even on the mobile platform.

"We see cyber-crime, malware problems, virus problems, etc. continuing to grow. Last year, for example, saw the largest ever number of viruses so far, last year’s malware was higher than the previous 5 years combined, DeWalt added.

With over 1000 employees in its Bangalore facility, McAfee will increase its investment in India after committing $80 million in 2006. With the Indian market for IT security likely to grow faster, the company has drawn up big product plans for corporate and consumers.


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