June 9, 2011 – The security software markets saw a healthy rebound last year, according to new analysis from Gartner. Overall, the market saw a 12 percent increase from 2009 revenue of $14.7 billion, reaching $16.5 billion globally in 2010, according to the Gartner report "Market Share Analysis: Security Software, Worldwide, 2010."

2009 saw a slow economy and tight IT budgets, but security has been an area where small and midsized businesses were not willing to cut during the recession, according to Gartner’s findings. Security continues to be a top priority across all technology categories in the SMB market because enterprises are realizing the damage that increasingly sophisticated, targeted threats can do to business.

Compliance requirements of SOX, HIPAA, breach notification acts and data protection directives are also pushing security prioritization. Also with the risks associated to adoption of cloud computing, there is attention on tools that can minimize risks while embarking on cloud activities, according to Ruggero Contu, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Gartner finds that security software products are evolving in terms of both new delivery models, and new technologies are being introduced, often by startup companies. Small and large enterprises are considering security as a service and on demand as alternative options, “Particularly for areas such as email and Web security, which leads to more market consolidation and more competitive pricing,” says Contu.

“Merger and acquisition activity has also been an important factor shaping the market landscape over the past years. In some areas such as endpoint protection platform (enterprise) Web security and identity and access management offerings, vendors have increasingly been bundling products together into a suite offering,” says Contu. “Suite offering growth in certain areas comes as a result of end users’ assumption that with suites there is a better integrated across different security products, this may not be always be the case. Larger vendors also have been trying to leverage their breath of portfolio and offer suites around certain areas as a competitive advantage over some competitors.”

On the M&A front, several major acquisitions moved the security market in the last couple of years, from Intel buying McAfee to Symantec acquiring Verisign, PGP and Guardian Edge to Oracle acquiring Sun Microsystems.

“This activity has been transforming the market landscape, enabling some players to gain significant market share and presence over others. As a result, many small, medium and large technology providers have disappeared from the market as independent players,” Contu points out.

Garnter’s report shows that Symantec dominated the market, accounting for nearly 19 percent of total security software revenue in 2010.

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