At a time when IT budgets are feeling the pressure due to the global economic slowdown, security is expected to remain a priority through 2016, according to a new Gartner report.

The report said that worldwide spending on security is expected to rise to $60 billion in 2012, up 8.4 percent from $55 billion in 2011. If this trend continues, the total amount of spending on security is expected to reach the $86 billion mark in 2016.

The security infrastructure market consists of the software, services and network security appliances used to secure enterprise and consumer IT equipment. IT outsourcing (managed security services), secure Web gateway (appliance) and security information and event management (SIEM) are the fastest-growing security segments.

According to Gartner, demand for cloud-based security is also impacting a number of key security markets, and above-average growth is expected for this new delivery model.

"The security infrastructure market is expected to experience positive growth over the forecast period, despite risks of further economic turbulence," said Lawrence Pingree, research director at Gartner.

"Results from the 2012 annual Gartner CIO survey show increased prioritization for security compared with 2011 and results from Gartner budgeting surveys published in June 2012 underline the fact that organizations globally are prioritizing on security budgets," said Pingree.

Gartner said that while 45 percent of survey respondents expected a security budget increase, 50 percent expected their budget to remain the same. On the other hand, only 5 percent expected their budget to decrease in 2012.

"Although security remains fairly resilient in tough times, the prolonged financial crises seen in the U.S. and Europe have had some impact on IT security spending globally but to a lesser extent for emerging countries, such as Brazil, China and India," said Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner.

The demand for security products and services is expected to be increased due to constant threat landscape and influenced by the increasingly targeted and evolving attack patterns that are growing in sophistication. As a result, organizations are likely to continue seeking the expertise and help of security technology and service providers to mitigate risks and reduce security vulnerabilities.

"We expect current market trends will keep security infrastructure growth at between 9 percent and 11 percent from 2011 through 2013, but we are factoring in a higher degree of caution in terms of buying behavior," said Pingree.