Report Sees Big Growth Future for SaaS Security

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A report from research firm Infonetics predicts software-as-a-service (SaaS) is the future of managed network security.

Communications market research firm Infonetics Research recently released a slew of security software reports that revealed virtualisation and cloud computing are growing trends in the content security market, worldwide network security appliance and software revenue dropped and SaaS is driving breakout growth in the managed security market.

In the first-quarter 2009 (Q109) edition of the company’s Content Security Appliances and Software report, Infonetics noted content security gateway market managed growth in a quarter that decimated many other IT segments. Network security titan, Cisco posted roughly a 20 percent decrease in overall security revenue, yet an 8 percent increase in content security revenue.

In all, Content security gateway revenue was up 2.2 percent from the fourth quarter 2008, hitting $535.7 million (£320.6 million). In Q109, McAfee ranked first in worldwide content security gateway revenue (including appliances and software), Websense ranked second, and Blue Coat and Symantec were neck and neck for third. Infonetics’ quarterly report tracks BlueCoat, Cisco, Citrix, McAfee, SonicWALL, Symantec, Trend Micro, Websense, and others.

Jeff Wilson, Infonetics principal analyst for network security said the main reason the content security market is faring well is reactive buying, as most vendors confirm that many customers make investments in content security as needed due to problems in the network.

“In many cases, this lack of planning makes it impossible to stop spending on content security,” he said. “Other factors driving growth in content security include the increasing popularity of cloud-based services and SaaS, and the need to comply with government security regulations.”

The company’s quarterly Network Security Appliances and Software report found worldwide network security appliance and software revenue dropped sequentially by16 percent in Q109, to $1.23 billion (£736 million). Cisco remains the revenue-leading vendor overall with 37.9 percent of total network security appliances and software, although Juniper, Check Point and Fortinet all gained market share.

Wilson said many IT markets hit bottom in the first quarter of 2009, and the network security market felt the pinch, hitting its lowest level since early 2007. “The cuts were due mainly to budgeting delays, a decrease in security spending attached to network infrastructure spending, contraction in overall enterprise spending due to the recession, and slightly cautious carrier spending,” he said, noting that by the end of 2009, he expected the network security market to be back at roughly third quarter of 2008 levels. “All in all, this was a painful but fairly minor hiccup, not a massive correction.”

Infonetics’ new market size and forecast report, Security and Encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN) Services: Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), Cloud, and SaaS, predicted the revenue service providers derive from managed security services would grow 78 percent from 2008 to 2013 worldwide. Content security services make up most of the SaaS opportunity, the company said. While large organisations buy the bulk of security services worldwide, small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) represent growing segments of the market.

“Despite the global economic meltdown, the security services market is strong and growing, driven by increasing global demand from organisations of all sizes due to the proliferation of threats of all types, the complexity of current security solutions, and the desire of many service providers to add revenue and improve margins,” Wilson said.

“There’s a dip in growth in 2009, but strong interest in SaaS and broad availability of SaaS offerings from a wide variety of players – from network providers and security specialist service providers to large content providers and product.”

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