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Sun 30 May 2004 04:00 AM

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Stone Soft bets on e-government spending

New research from Data Monitor pegs the investment in security solutions for e-government initiatives is set to touch US$1 billion this year as authorities seek to defend their networks from cyber terrorists. Finnish IT security vendor, Stone Soft is betting on increased government spending in the region to boost it’s sales.

New research from analysts Data Monitor claims that investment in security solutions for e-government initiatives is set to touch US$1 billion this year as authorities seek to defend their networks against cyber attacks. Finnish IT security vendor, Stone Soft is betting on increased government spending in the region to boost it’s sales.

The market research house has predicted that global investment in firewall and virtual private network (VPN) solutions will climb to almost US$6 billion by 2007, as a result of growing publicity regarding threats like worms and viruses. Of that, around US$1 billion is expected to be invested by the government sector, up from US$471 million in 2003.

Across the region, e-government programs have flourished in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Figures from Data Monitor predict that, as authorities in the Middle East turn to e-government solutions, security spending to protect them will also increase.

“Network protection spending is likely to increase in large enterprise and government sectors, particularly in this region where e-government projects are becoming increasingly popular. As more countries experiment with e-government initiatives, we can anticipate an increase in network security spending,” says Jari Valvisto, vice president Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and emerging markets.

Stone Soft, which earns a large chunk of its revenues from clustered firewall and VPNs said it is currently participating in a number of government and public sector projects across the region and is also in discussions with other large enterprises in several key sectors, including oil and gas, banking, telecoms and services.

“Protecting networks, particularly for large organisations, is now becoming a key issue for IT decision-makers across the region. Department heads are receiving higher levels of funding to ensure the security of their systems and the information they contain,” adds Valvisto.

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