Outlook rosy for security market

Two new reports suggest that the IT security industry is going to see across-the-board growth in the next few years. In separate re-ports released in February, IDC and Dataquest Inc., a division of Gartner Inc., both lauded the growth potential for different sectors in the IT security market, including services and software.

IDC’s report said the market for managed security services could hit US$2.2 billion by 2005, while Gartner’s study said the market for security software should hit US$4.3 billion by the end of this year.

“Enterprises are looking particularly at defensive security technologies such as antivirus software, intrusion detection systems and firewalls,” Colleen Graham, an industry analyst for Gartner’s Software Industry Research group, said in a statement.

In 2001, Gartner said it was the telecommunications and communications industries that led the way in software investment. This year, however, Gartner expects those two industries to cut back while government, education and financial services increase spending. Gartner attributes increased awareness following the Sept. 11 attacks as a driver behind the market growth.

The IDC study suggests that as small to midsize companies realize that they don’t have the resources or expertise to construct an appropriate defence themselves, they will turn to outside firms for help.