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Security spending lags

Published Sep. 1, 2005

Contrary to some analysts' expectations, American corporations have increased their security spending only slightly in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to a survey of security personnel released Wednesday.

A minority of those surveyed said they were given enough money to protect their systems, buildings and employees adequately.

The Conference Board, which surveyed 331 security directors, mostly at large companies, said that the median business increased its security expenditures by just 4 percent since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The median expenditures on insurance and risk management, however, increased by 33 percent.

"In the current environment, large-scale capital improvements that cannot demonstrate an immediate return on investment are a particularly tough sell to management," the report's chief author, Thomas E. Cavanagh, wrote.

The survey found that corporations based in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., increased their security expenditures much more than companies elsewhere. Companies in those cities boosted security spending by 9 percent after 2001, compared with a median of 2.8 percent for the rest of the country.

Security executives at the news conference said that although companies did not increase their security spending significantly, they redirected their security budgets to the most critical areas.

_ Information from the Associated Press and New York Times was used in this story.