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Security Software Revs Grew 19% in 2008

Security software and appliances remains one of the few areas of IT where spending is staying even strong, even as businesses cut or delay many of their projects in other areas.

That's according to research firm Gartner (NYSE: IT), which in a new report today concluded that the security market is huge and still growing despite the gloomy economic environment.

Worldwide, security software revenues increased to $13.5 billion in 2008, up from $11.3 billion in 2007 -- an increase of 18.6 percent, according to Gartner.

"A double-digit growth in a challenging economic climate shows that security remains a key priority for CIOs and IT security leaders," Ruggiero Contu, a principal analyst at Gartner, said in a statement.

The report also predicts a slowdown in the security market for 2009, but no recession: Gartner is predicting growth of 9 percent in security software, an increase that is still healthy even though it is half the growth rate of the previous year.

The market's resilience is one reason why security companies like Symantec and McAfee are striving to win customers with a complete suite of services.

In another sign of health, the report said that the five market leaders -- Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro, IBM, and EMC -- are losing market share to smaller vendors, which indicates that specialists are able to challenge the market leaders and their comprehensive product suites.

Of the incumbents, Symantec had a dominant but shrinking market share of 22 percent, while McAfee led in growth rate at 20.5 percent.

"Symantec is pleased to be recognized as the market leader in security," Francis deSouza, Symantec senior vice president for the enterprise security group, said in an e-mail to InternetNews.com. "We will continue to focus on delivering a set of products and services that enable customers to protect information proactively, respond to threats rapidly, automate compliance processes and reduce cost and complexity."

In addition to the big players, Gartner said "other providers" grew by 25.9 percent and, combined, smaller players had a market share of 50.9 percent in 2008, representing $6.866 billion in business.

Specialist players are providing bundled software packages of their own, Contu told InternetNews.com. "Players like Panda Security, over the past few years, were able to gain an edge by ... coming up with a package that integrated host intrusion detection and prevention, a personal firewall, and antivirus."

He added that smaller customers are able to change faster. "In the case of the endpoint security market, little players have shown more attention to end users' requirements," he said.

Contu noted that software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings are taking market share from licensed software as are, to a lesser extent, security appliances.

Security Software Vendor Revenue, 2008

Company

Revenue ($M)

Mkt Share (%)

Growth (%)

Symantec 2,968.7 22.0 7.2
McAfee 1,475.7 10.9 20.5
Trend Micro 938.5 7.0 16.0
IBM 693.0 5.1 14.0
EMC 537.6 4.0 8.6
Others 6,866.0 50.9 25.9
Total 13,479.7 100.0 18.9

Source: Gartner (June 2009)