The growth rate of the worldwide security software market will more than halve to 8% from 19% last year but will still total $14.5bn in 2009, says market analyst Gartner.
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Gartner expects the world market to recover in 2010 with growth rising to 13% as revenue grow to $16.3bn.
In Europe, the security software market will total €3.2bn in 2009, 7% up from 2008, Gartner said.
Gartner principal research analyst Ruggero Contu said the perception that security was a critical area underpinned the above-inflation growth rates.
"Although the market is affected by the economic downturn, security remains a critical area where drastic cuts cannot be afforded," he said.
The best growth will come from software as a service (SaaS), appliance-based offerings, and small and medium businesses (SMBs), which "are in security catch-up mode", he said.
Consumer security will remain the largest single revenue segment (25%) of the total market. Gartner said it will account for $3.6bn, growing 4% in 2009.
The enterprise security software market, which includes segments such as endpoint protection, email security and user provisioning was worth $10.9bn, growing 9% in 2009, he said.
Last year's market saw a lot of consolidation. McAfee bought Secure Computing, Symantec and Sophos bought MessageLabs and Ultimaco respectively. More is expected because end users want better-integrated multi-products, said Contu.