Australian security software spend beats global trend

Image: Gartner research director Ruggero Contu.

Australia is well ahead of the global curve when it comes to money spent on security software according to global technology analyst firm Gartner, which now puts the annual rate of local growth for digital countermeasures at 8 per cent, almost double that of a slowing global trend rate of 4.9 per cent.

With hacking intrusions from crooks and foreign governments now at record levels, the value of the Australian market for security software has grown to $408 million as organisations try to stay on top of new threats and changing regulations.

Gartner has reckoned that worldwide security software revenue totaled US$19.9 billion in 2013, up from $19.0 billion the previous year.

However the dynamics of the market are changing, with the firms pointing to lower-than-expected growth “due to commoditisation of key subsegments and the decline in growth for two of the top five vendors.”

Those two top vendors remained Symantec and McAfee in 2013, however Gartner pointed to a surprise resurgence for IBM which overtook Trend Micro for third place in global market share.

“IBM took third place this year, displacing Trend Micro, which dropped to fourth place, although by a small margin,” Gartner’s report said.

“The top four vendors now account for 39 percent of the total security software market. This is the first time in many years that a broad portfolio vendor such as IBM (that is, not a pure-play security vendor) has been able to enter the top three.”

While security vendors are never shy to cash-in on new threats, Gartner research director Ruggero Contu said that easier access to malicious tools was levelling the playing field for miscreants, a trend that in turn was influencing vendor revenues.

“The larger trend that emerged in 2013 was that of the democratisation of security threats, driven by the easy availability of malicious software and infrastructure (via the underground economy) that can be used to launch advanced targeted attacks,” Mr Contu said.

“This ubiquity of security threats has led organisations to realise that traditional security approaches have gaps, thereby leading them to rethink and invest more in security technology.

“The consequent involvement of the business in security purchase decisions has both a positive and negative effect on software vendor revenue. With every company becoming a technology company, more organisations are now looking to leverage a multitude of data points to become more competitive. This desire to become more digital brings with it its own challenges in terms of securing this data to prevent data breaches and to protect against advanced targeted attacks,” Mr Contu said.

The sharp focus on changing security dynamics and trends is certain to make for robust discussion at Gartner’s 2014 Security and Risk Management Summit being held in Sydney on the 25th  and 26th of August in Sydney.

Scrutiny and discussion around government technology security has been gathering pace among agencies and departments this year as more and more services and transactions head online under policies put in place by the new federal government.

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