The increased commoditisation of end-point security software and secure email gateway meant spending on security software increased at a lower rate than expected in 2013, compared with 2012.
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According to Gartner research the 4.9% increase in spending – which reached $19.9bn – remained healthy.
The report revealed that two major suppliers saw their sales shrink. Revenues from Symantec – which has the biggest market share of 18.7% – fell 0.5%; Trend Micro’s reduced by over 5%.
"The market experienced slower, but still healthy, growth in 2013. This slightly tempered growth was partly due to the increased commoditisation of the endpoint security (particularly consumer endpoint software) and secure email gateway (SEG) subsegments (particularly consumer endpoint software) that, in 2013, accounted for around 25%of the total security software market," said Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner.
Gartner said 2013 has seen the democratisation of security threats. Contu said this was driven by the easy availability of malicious software and infrastructure used to launch advanced targeted attacks.
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“This ubiquity of security threats has led organisations to realise that traditional security approaches have gaps, leading them to rethink and invest more in security technology," said Contu.
He said the increasing threats have forced businesses to get closer to IT security decision making.
“With every company becoming a technology company, more organisations are now looking to leverage a multitude of data points to become more competitive," said Contu.
"This desire to become more digital brings with it its own challenges, in terms of securing data to prevent breaches and to protect against advanced targeted attacks."
Symantec was the biggest supplier, with sales worth over $3.73bn. IBM had the biggest increase in sales of 19.1%, totalling $19.1bn and pushing the supplier up to third.
McAfee was the second biggest selling supplier, making about $1.75bn sales, which was an increase of 3.9%. Trend Micro sales dropped 5.3% to $1.11bn dropping it to fourth. EMC made $760m sales in fifth place with a large number of small suppliers accounting for 57.5% of the market, worth almost $11.5bn.
North America, Western Europe and Mature Asia/Pacific accounted for 83% of the spending, but growth was lower than the average at 4.1%.
"The slower-than-average growth for security software in mature markets is due to the saturation of key segments of the technology market and the highly competitive nature of security deals, driven by an expansion of vendor capabilities into adjacent areas and the continuation of mergers and acquisitions," said Contu.