• February 9, 2007
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

The Convergence of Enterprise Security

Driven by continued growth in the antivirus software market, worldwide security software revenue is expected to total $9.1 billion in 2007, a 10.7 percent increase over 2006 revenue of $8.2 billion, according to new research from Gartner. Antivirus software revenue is expected to total $4.9 billion in 2007, and will account for 53.8 percent of the total security software industry. "Prioritizing, choosing and maintaining security technologies will continue to be top issues for enterprises in 2007," says Nicole Latimer-Livingston, a principal research analyst at Gartner. "This is being driven as companies and government agencies face continuing pressure to demonstrate compliance with the spirit and the letter of the law under various regulatory requirements, and to show business value and cost-effectiveness for security measures." Though the antivirus market will continue to lead the security software market in 2007, changing threats are sparking a long-term technology shift away from complete reliance on signature-based antivirus defenses to more predictive, proactive defenses, according to the research. Vendors in the enterprise antivirus market are working on road maps for converged solutions that easily integrate and can be managed together. "The move to converged endpoint suites will be a long road," Latimer-Livingston says. "The enterprise desktop is closely guarded and the IT buying center is leery of introducing new technology that may inhibit user experience and increase costs." Latimer-Livingston says the high cost of administration, in addition to issues with false positives and interference with software distribution have been the prime barriers to adopting these integrated suites for most enterprises. "Companies are not rapidly moving to antivirus suites with IPS or personal firewall functionality, despite some attractive licensing incentives." Gartner forecasts that for the next 18 months, less than 15 percent of enterprise clients will purchase licenses for converged clients for their entire desktop population. Enterprise adoption of converged clients will slowly increase, and by the end of 2009, 35 percent of enterprises will have purchased and deployed converged clients. Security is becoming more complex and difficult for a single vendor to handle. Customers require products that integrate with their security architecture rather than disconnected point solutions, and it is essential for large and small players to partner with best-of-breed vendors. Only those vendors offering integrated products, based on an already established and trusted technological partnership, will be best placed for success. "Customers prefer to deal with two or more vendors that already trust each other's products and practices," Latimer-Livingston says. "As security software is increasingly imbedded in hardware, it is essential for software vendors, particularly those offering fast-growing niche solutions, to partner with key hardware vendors to obtain preferential entrance into the marketplace. This relationship can be a good starting point for future developments." Related articles: Security Costs E-Commerce $2 Billion in '06
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