Security spending bucks economic downturn

Businesses are substantially increasing their expenditure on security software, despite the economic slowdown.

Global sales of security software are up by 19.8% to a total of $10.4bn, according to Gartner.

The increases are being driven by the need for compliance and privacy, and the need to prevent data leakage, the analyst firm said yesterday.

Though the figures relate to the latest full calendar year, they indicate that businesses are recognising the importance of maintaining and improving their security systems.

"In 2007, the security market did not experience any noticeable signs of a slowdown," said Ruggero Contu, principal research analyst at Gartner. "Compliance, data leakage and privacy issues... are among the major drivers fuelling the growth of spending on security."

The most popular technologies are proving to be email security boundary appliances and security information and event management (SIEM) tools, which grew during 2007 by 45% and 32% respectively, Gartner reported.

SIEM tools are necessary for compliance, and are being adopted to help tackle targeted attacks and fraud, Contu said.

He added that the continued barrage of spam and malware was driving organisations to invest in email security boundary products.

Standalone anti-virus products are now in decline, the analyst group found, and are being replaced by broader endpoint security products.

Symantec still pulls in the highest revenue of any supplier, with 26.6% of total industry sales. McAfee is a distant second with 11.8% and Trend Micro is third with 7.8%.

RSA's parent company EMC is making huge strides in the security space through its acquisition strategy, Gartner said. Its security revenues grew 241% through 2007, taking it into sixth place.

IBM and CA make up the remainder of the top six.

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