Study: Network security market to reach $6 billion

A pair of studies by Infonetics Research Inc. says the network security market recently topped $1 billion and in the next two years that will increase six-fold.

Network security software and hardware is expected to be a $6 billion market by 2008, a jump fueled primarily by the increasing need for companies to purchase products that secure content and devices, such as intrusion prevention systems (IPS) and network access control (NAC) equipment.

According to a third-quarter study by Campbell, Calif.-based Infonetics Research Inc., NAC is now the "Holy Grail" of network security, pushing the total market for security products to $1 billion this year.

But NAC isn't the sole contributor to the booming security market. According to Infonetics principal analyst Jeff Wilson, hackers are inventing new ways to attack corporate networks, and vendors are just as quickly devising ways to protect against them. Those innovations, he said, will continue to push the security market higher.

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"First, there's a real need for enterprise-class security for handheld devices, especially wireless client devices, such as Wi-Fi VoIP handsets," said Wilson in a second study, "User Plans for Security Products and Services: North America 2005." "Second, as the next step in perimeter security, network IPS is beginning to make the transition from niche security technology to core network infrastructure. … And, finally, enterprises are fed up with viruses, spyware and malware, and are willing to make significant investments to put a stop to them."

Infonetics identified the following trends in the burgeoning security market:

  • Software, hardware appliances and security routers are the preferred security for most respondents and will continue to be through 2007. Secure routers show the most growth.
  • Forty-eight percent of respondents have purchased wireless LAN security products, while 29% said they will buy or are considering buying WLAN security.
  • The need to block viruses and the fear of hackers are prompting respondents to buy security products and services en masse.
  • Increased service reliability is the most important payback respondents expect from managed security service. Respondents also thought organizations should focus on core competencies, have access to more advanced technology and have access to better expertise.
  • Regardless of corporations' wants and needs, the studies noted that network security is already a $1 billion market, with Cisco Systems Inc. ruling the overall hardware and software spaces with a 35% stake. Cisco is followed by Check Point Software Technologies, which comes in second with 10%, and Juniper Networks ranked third with an 8% share. A lot of Cisco's success comes from its NAC framework, which in October was updated with several enhancements, Wilson said.

    Infonetics also found that VPN and firewall products make up 77% of security revenue, while intrusion detection and prevention systems rake in 14%, and gateway antivirus 9%. By 2008, however, the research firm predicted intrusion detection and prevention make up 15% of the market, while gateway antivirus products will jump to 12% by 2008.

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