Security industry growth set to continue

Two new reports suggest that the IT security industry is going to see across-the-board growth in the next few years.

Two new reports suggest that the IT security industry is going to see across-the-board growth in the next few years.

In separate reports IDC and Dataquest, a division of Gartner, have both lauded the growth potential for different sectors in the IT security market, including services and software.

IDC's report said the market for managed security services could hit $2.2bn (£1.6bn) by 2005 while Gartner's study said the market for security software should hit $4.3bn (£3.0bn) by the end of this year.

"Enterprises are looking particularly at defensive security technologies such as antivirus software, intrusion detection systems and firewalls," Colleen Graham, an industry analyst for Gartner's Software Industry Research group, said. "Technologies such as biometrics and other forms of authentication are also getting a great deal of attention but because of the high cost of rolling out such technologies, mass adoption of these products will not occur before 2003."

In 2001, Gartner said it was the telecommunications and communications industries that led the way in software investment. This year, however, Gartner expects those two industries to cut back while government, education and financial services increase spending.

Gartner attributes increased awareness following the September 11 terrorist attacks as a driver behind the market growth.

Gartner added that other factors helped drive security awareness, such as several well-publicised hacks, virus outbreaks and distributed service attacks.

The IDC study suggests that as small to midsize companies realise that they don't have the resources or expertise to construct an appropriate defence themselves, they will turn to outside firms for help. However, IDC went on to say that the providers of such services would have to overcome a lack of security awareness among the management of smaller companies.

Read more on Hackers and cybercrime prevention

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