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Symantec still top security supplier by revenue, says Gartner

The security software market grew by 5.3% in 2014 to $21.4bn, with the top suppliers by revenue being Symantec, Intel and IBM

Symantec continues to be the top security software supplier by revenue, with the global market growing by 5.3% in 2014 to $21.4bn, up from 4.9% in 2013, according to research firm Gartner.

The growth was led by strong performances in areas such as security information and event management (SIEM), secure web gateway (SWG), identity governance and administration (IGA), and enterprise content-aware data loss prevention (DLP), according to Gartner’s Market share analysis: Security software, worldwide, 2014 report.

This was offset by weak growth in endpoint protection platforms that converge endpoint device security functionality into a single product that delivers antivirus, anti-spyware, personal firewall, application control and other styles of host intrusion-prevention capabilities.

"Even though the SWG segment experienced single-digit growth in 2014, cloud-based and hybrid SWG deployments are becoming increasingly popular,” said Gartner principal research analyst Sid Deshpande.

“As organisations' corporate data traffic becomes more exposed to the internet and moves out of the control of traditional network security boundaries, SWG technologies continue to be an important piece of the overall security technology strategy of most organisations,” he added.

Second year of revenue decline for Symantec

Although Symantec continued to lead the pack of security software suppliers, Gartner noted that the company suffered its second consecutive year of revenue decline, down by 1.3% to $3.7bn.

A 6.2% decrease in the consumer security software segment, which makes up 53% of Symantec's security software revenue, was the primary cause of the decline in overall revenue growth.

Security software revenue for second-placed Intel (McAfee) grew by 4.6% in 2014 to reach $1.8bn. Revenue declines in consumer security software and endpoint protection platforms, which form 75% of its security software revenue, were balanced by strong performance in other segments.

Read more about SIEM technology

At third spot in the rankings, IBM's security software revenue grew by 17% in 2014 to reach $1.5bn. Gartner said IBM’s SIEM software products grew by 21%, driven by strong adoption of this category of products by organisations and managed security service providers (MSSPs) alike.

The DLP market grew by 15.8% year over year, to reach $643m in revenue in 2014. Gartner ascribes the growth to Symantec’s strong performance in this segment, which accounts for nearly half of the total market. 

The stable performance of the other top suppliers in this segment also contributed to its growth. However, Gartner expects 2014 to be the last year that the market will exhibit such solid double-digit growth in its current form, given the rise of channel DLP and "DLP-lite" systems.

"Most established suppliers in this space are transforming the way they deliver comprehensive DLP capabilities, and this transition period will likely impact growth in coming years,” said Gartner research director Ruggero Contu.

The SIEM market grew by 11% in 2014 to reach $1.6bn in revenue. Gartner said the strong focus on threat detection and response from security buyers contributed to the strong showing of this market segment. 

In addition to the enterprise focus on buying on-premise SIEM technology, Gartner said providers of managed security services emerged as a strong "sell to" market for SIEM providers. First-time adopters of SIEM, particularly from emerging markets, were also strong drivers of growth.

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