There are way too many security vendors in the marketplace. I would say there are about 12 well known security vendors in the marketplace that CDN covers on a daily basis. They are: Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro, Kaspersky Lab, Sophos, WebSense, CA Technologies Inc., Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., Panda Security, Bit Defender and AVG Technologies, WebRoot, and Avast Software.
On top of that you also have major corporations doing security such as Microsoft with its Security Essentials, Cisco Systems Inc., IBM Corp. with its Internet Security Systems, IronPort, F-Secure Corp., Juniper Networks, and RSA Security from EMC.
It gets even more crowded when you include smaller players that you probably never heard of such as: BigFix Inc, Avira, Zonealarm, Avanquest Antivirus, G Data, PC Tools, Comodo, Norman Antivirus, and Quick Heal.
And, then you have up-and-coming security specialists such as Aladdin Knowledge Systems Ltd., Utimaco Safeware AG, ESet and MessageLabs Ltd. There is going to be a lot of low hanging fruit for the top security players or other major high tech corporations who are sitting on cash and are itching to make acquisitions.
When you factor in that the worldwide cyber security market will surpass $80 billion by 2017 and the fact that the U.S. government’s anti-cyber crime task force intends to work with just four security vendors some of these firms will be left out in the cold. And, while I don’t know who those four security vendors are you can bank on them being domestic.
So who is going to stay and who is going to go? You have to think the top three (Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro) are safe. Kaspersky Lab is a privately owned company and so I think they will continue to be a strong player in the market. CA is also too large and they have other lines of business that will keep them in the mix. I also think that CheckPoint because they are based in Israel are sheltered enough not to be in play; but that’s just a gut feel I have. That leaves Sophos, WebSense, Panda Security, Bit Defender, AVG, WebRoot and Avast. I can see all of them getting acquired. In my mind WebSense holds the most value for any acquiring company. WebSense would be viewed as a major acquisition. I will also predict that Panda will be the first to be snapped up because its strength is in cloud security and cloud is hot right now. AVG, WebRoot and Avast are all considered to be innovative security companies and they too could be gobbled up by the end of 2013.
As for BitDefender, I think they are on an island. There strength is anti-virus and everyone has anti-virus. They could be the only one left standing.
The security landscape is too crowded and will consolidate greatly in 2013. Look for a lot of action in this sector next year.