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December 20, 2011

SMBs will prove to be key battle ground for security industry: Canalys

Industry as a whole will climb 8.7% to $22.9bn in 2012

By Steve Evans

Analyst group Canalys predicts the enterprise security market will grow 8.7% year-on-year in 2012 to hit $22.9bn, with the battle for supremacy in the small and medium business (SMB) space defining which vendors will come out on top.

The analyst house believes that antivirus (AV) will make up 11.3% of the total market, and although it is a mature technology it is still the first step many SMBs will take when security is concerned. It is because of this that Canalys reckons that market will be a key battle ground in 2012 to determine which vendors come out on top.

The company name-checks Kaspersky Lab, Panda Security, F-Secure, ESET and AVG as the ones that will be causing headaches for the likes of Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro in this segment.

This is because it is consumer buying patterns and behaviours that will dominate SMB security spending, and that is where many of the up and coming security firms are gaining a strong reputation.

However, the report also comes with a warning for SMBs. The reason that they will spend heavily on AV software is that according to Canalys many equate that with having a secure infrastructure, which is not the case at all. The firm says many SMBs will be relying on resellers to recommend the right platform.

Given the relative lack of financial firepower SMBs possess it is no surprise to see Canalys predicting that both "freemium" and SaaS security systems will be attractive to the smaller businesses.

"Freemium’ offerings will further disrupt the security market, especially in the micro-business segment. The AV market has already become highly commoditised, and free offerings will continue to drive down costs and complexity at the lower end of the market," the report says.

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"Vendors will need to develop solutions in adjacent areas, such as web-threat security and data protection, to differentiate and demonstrate a better value proposition," Canalys added.

"Security as a service (SaaS) will attract more SMB customers. As they drive partners toward specialist roles, security vendors will have more flexibility to develop new delivery models, such as SaaS. From the SMB side, perceived cost savings will be the primary driver to switch to outsourced security," the report says about the SaaS trend.

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