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DR: Budgets Up, Salaries Down

NEW YORK, May 8, 2006 – Spending on compliance with state and federal data handling laws has translated into larger security budgets, but salaries for IT security professionals aren't growing at the same pace, or even much at all, according to a survey by CMP Media LLC's Dark Reading (

"Figures from around the industry indicate that enterprises have increased overall security spending by as much as 20 percent or more in the last year," said Terry Sweeney, editor in chief of Dark Reading. "But most of our respondents said any raises they got were well under 10 percent, if they got a raise at all."

The three-part salary survey series debuts today on Dark Reading; part two will be posted next Monday, May 15, and part three will follow on Monday, May 22. The results were compiled from more than 760 responses, nearly half (46 percent) of which were from security professionals at companies with annual revenues of more than $100 million.

In today's initial installment, security professionals report that while security is highly valued as an organizational function, that same value isn't reflected in the budgets, salaries, or raises they receive. Most respondents said their groups get only a small portion of the total IT budget, and 75 percent ranked security in the middle to the bottom of the IT budget priority list.

More than a quarter (28 percent) of the respondents reported salary and compensation of $100,000 or more; and about half (53 percent) said they make between $50,000 and $100,000. The remainder (19 percent) are making less than $50,000.

More than half of the survey sample reported raises ranging from 1 to 9 percent last year, while 22 percent reported they got no raise. Some (7 percent) said they actually took pay cuts last year.

Click here ( to see the findings of part one.

Part two, which will be posted on Dark Reading May 15, delves into overall job satisfaction and the factors that contribute to it. Respondents didn't just cite salary when evaluating a job: they also considered the level of challenge provided; training and advancement possibilities; and decent managers.

Part three, which will be posted May 22, examines advancement opportunities – what security professionals see as the best ways to get ahead, get good projects, and make more money. Most think that personnel with security certifications make more money, even if they don't think that CISSP after their names means a bigger raise. When asked which areas of expertise are most in demand, they said that an understanding of compliance issues, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or HIPAA, has more cachet in the marketplace than, say, anti-spam or anti-spyware expertise.

Dark Reading is the latest enterprise-focused Web publication to emerge from CMP's business unit, Light Reading. As the Web's only one-stop security shop, Dark Reading simplifies the challenges IT professionals face in keeping informed about the latest viruses, enterprise network security, and data privacy.


Alix Raine
SVP Communications
CMP Media
600 Community Drive
Manhasset, NY 11030
[email protected]

About Light Reading
Light Reading Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of CMP Media, is a B-to-B network information provider. Light Reading publishes, the leading global content site for the telecom industry;, a storage networking site;, dedicated to wireless networking; and, an IT security site. Light Reading is also affiliated with, a market research site for quantitative analysis of telecom technology to carriers, service providers, and vendors.

About CMP Media
Through its market-leading portfolio of trusted information brands in the technology, healthcare, and lifestyles industries, CMP Media ( has earned the confidence of more professionals and enthusiasts in these fields than any other media company. As a result, CMP is the premier provider of access, insight, and actionable programs designed to connect sellers and buyers in each of these industries in ways that yield superior return on investment. CMP Media is a subsidiary of United Business Media (, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $3 billion.