The global Web application firewall (WAF) market was once mainly driven by regulatory requirements to protect Web applications and the sensitive customer data they collect. But high-profile data breaches are pushing organizations to now also proactively evaluate WAF products as a way to minimize business risk from unprotected Web applications, according to Frost & Sullivan.

New analysis from the research firm, “Analysis of the Global Web Application Firewall Market,” finds that the market earned revenues of $431.5 million in 2013 and estimates this to reach $777.3 million in 2018. The study encompasses WAF products as well as services.

“Hackers and nation states are increasingly targeting Web sites in an attempt to gain illicit access to enterprise networks and highly valuable digital assets,” Chris Rodriguez, Frost & Sullivan network security senior industry analyst, said in a statement. “Since Web applications present a number of unique security challenges that require purpose-built security solutions, such high profile data breaches have piqued the demand for WAF systems.”

While the market is poised for growth, large-scale adoption remains slow due to the technology’s reputation as an enterprise-only solution requiring a high level of technical expertise, the firm says. The recollection of technical challenges and costs associated with early WAF solutions has limited WAF adoption to date, and potential customers are hesitant to deploy WAF fearing that they lack the time, expertise and budgets necessary, it says.

WAF vendors are working to dispel these perceptions by simplifying usability, improving detection accuracy and offering WAF services, the report says.

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