Security firm Verisign conducted a survey of 180 UK IT security professionals to find out what they expected their firms to do in response to the economic downturn.
The survey found that while the majority of firms were not expected to slash security budgets, many IT security professionals felt more pressure to demonstrate value and efficiency to the business.
The survey showed that 82% of respondents thought a reduction in IT security spending in the downturn would hurt businesses in the long run.
Asked where budget cuts were most likely to happen in the downturn, 75% expected a reduction in staff and overhead costs, with 17% (almost a fifth) expecting cuts in IT security spending.
When asked about specific pressures they are feeling and need to focus on, respondents frequently cited the need to demonstrate the value of IT investments and to look for ways to increase efficiency.
Mike Davies, director of identification and authentication services at Verisign EMEA, said, "As consumer confidence erodes in the economic downturn, it is important that businesses encourage trust in online services. Security and trust need to be top of mind for businesses wishing to maintain the recent boom years of online transactions in today's economic climate".
Davies said, "In uncertain economic times it is critical to put consumers' minds at ease by assuring them of complete safety when they make transactions online. Companies must deliver a safe online experience for their customers, yet do so in an increasingly cost-effective manner".