A dearth of corporate resources and expertise will lead to a boost in demand for managed security services over the next four years, reports International Data Corp., a Framingham, Mass.-based research firm. Spending in the U.S. market for managed services will jump from approximately $720 million in 2000 to $2.2 billion by 2005, for a compound annual growth rate of 25.4%, IDC projects.

The sector also will be driven by a growing complexity of networks and rouge access points, which increase exposure to vulnerabilities and threats, says Allan Carey, senior analyst of IDC's Information Security Services research service.

"These factors combined are drastically affecting the way organizations approach risk mitigation," Carey notes. "Customers want information security solutions to seamlessly integrate into the network, ensure scalability and provide a measurable return on investment."

Companies in the highly competitive managed services sector include network/systems integrators, service providers, technology owners and pure-play security service firms, IDC says. The most apparent opportunities are in the small to mid-size market where customers have strong security needs, but limited information security skills and capital, the firm notes.

Service providers, however, must overcome such issues as the lack of security awareness within an organization's executive management and the build- versus-buy scenario, IDC adds.

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