Research firm IDC has predicted that the market for information security services will increase to more than $23.5bn (£14.7bn) in the next four years.
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The study, "Worldwide and US Information Security Forecast 2003 - 2007", provides a five-year forecast for the information security services market, which includes a wide range of activities, from application testing to training and outsourced security strategy planning.
Demand for stronger application security and security for wireless networks will drive the growth of the information security services market, as will the continuing trend toward outsourcing network security functions such as application security testing, disaster recovery and management of network security devices.
IDC predicted more than 20% annual growth in spending for information security services, as enterprises look to security services companies to help them understand security risks and develop comprehensive plans to address those risks.
The competitive field for information security services has swelled in recent years, as traditional players such as Internet Security Systems and BearingPoint (formerly KPMG Consulting) have found themselves competing for security consulting and management business against traditionally product-oriented companies such as Symantec.
Companies operating in the information security services space will have to put more effort into differentiating the value of their services from those of their competitors in order to win business, IDC said.