The global threat and vulnerability management market is expected to grow from $5.3 billion in 2015 to $8.6 billion in 2020, according to a new report from ABI Research. The study, Threat and Vulnerability Management, identifies two key factors that are leading to increased demand for threat and vulnerability management solutions.

One is the impact of design flaws and weaknesses. These lead to frequent patches, which represent a major financial burden. The other is government and industry regulation mandates. Regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH), PCI Data Security Standard) and Sarbanes-Oxley mandate rigorous vulnerability management practices, the report notes.

“Each day, organizations are deluged with warnings about newly discovered security vulnerabilities,” Monolina Sen, senior analyst in digital security at ABI Research, said in a statement. “While well-known security flaws, such as Heartbleed, affected industries globally, lesser-known vulnerabilities have just as much impact on critical systems in a particular enterprise.”

The increasing use of next-generation technologies, such as cloud computing and big data, are likely to introduce new vulnerabilities, Sen says. According to the study, software as a service (SaaS) providers have the highest number of vulnerabilities on average.

Vulnerability management “is key to attaining risk management goals,” Sen said. “It provides policy and compliance context, and it mines the network for vulnerability information, remediation opportunities, and ultimately provides a comprehensive view of enterprise risk.”

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