This may be the most poetic description of IT security you’ll ever hear. Forrester Research’s Khalid Kark says security and risk professionals are “now in a renaissance period, and security’s influence is growing within organizations.”

“We are in a period of immense change in which we have the opportunity to define the future of our profession,” Khark says. “Security and risk professionals are faced with a rapidly changing technology landscape and business environment. To achieve success in the role today, they need to be open to new ideas and embrace change.”

This beautiful sentiment comes from Forrester’s new research on IT security spending. Other highlights from the survey of more than 1,200 enterprise and SMB security decision makers include the optimistic news that 21 percent of respondents expect their budgets to increase next year, and only six percent expect a decline. Security was found to make up 10 percent of overall IT operating budgets in 2008, up eight percent from last year.

What are they spending it on? More than half said protecting corporate IP and customer data was their top priority for the next 12 months. But it’s no longer just the CIO setting the priorities. More than half the respondents respond to a CEO/board or an executive committee.

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