Security boom on cards over next three years

Security boom on cards over next three years

The local market for security software and appliances is expected to experience double-digit growth over the next three years and is predicted to be worth more than $132 million by 2011.

According to forecasts by research firm IDC, the local security software and appliances market will have a compound annual growth rate of more than 13 percent through to 2011.

Issues such as the evolving and sophisticated threat landscape and pressure from government regulation will drive demand, the company states.

Patrik Bihammar, Sydney-based IDC senior analyst for security solutions and system management software, says the predicted growth will also be driven by local uptake of new business technology to operate leaner and more efficiently.

“There is always a challenge if it’s new technology that an organisation is keen to get the benefits. But it’s often the case that security becomes an afterthought and it’s not until a company has a specific problem that it actually reacts. I think that’s going to drive a lot of uptake in security."

IDC also identified market developments that include the need for stronger information protection and control, the rise of Web 2.0 threats and continuing consolidation in the security market.

Bihammar says the larger vendors that have a strong local presence and a strong channel are representing a bigger chunk of the market. “There are a few local vendors who are punching above their weight such as Marshal and SMX.”

Marshal's vice president of products, Bradley Anstis, agrees with the prediction.

"IDC is normally pretty close to the mark and it demonstrates what we are seeing in the threat landscape. The more complex the threats become, the harder and more expensive they are to address. For example you are now seeing the emergence of specialty botnet scanning and protection products."

He adds wireless networks and transient devices like USB drives are dissolving the traditional network borders, making control of these zones more difficult.

"The natural transition we are starting to see is to the security of data and then the user rights to that data. Vendors that take this focus are likely to find significant opportunities for growth and new markets."

Bihammar says security has always been a top-10 challenge for companies, but the local market is different to Australia. "Last year when we surveyed CIOs on the top-10 challenges in ANZ, security jumped up the list of priorities in New Zealand whereas in Australia it dropped off the list. It seems New Zealand organisations have security on the agenda and realise the challenges."

One of the reasons security has fallen off the radar in Australia may be a decline in huge virus outbreaks and smaller targeted attacks that are focused on collecting specific data and information, says Bihammar.

Meanwhile IDC predicts a total security market for Australia and New Zealand to be worth $2.4 billion by 2011.

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