European security software market hits US$2.5bn

28 Apr 2004

2003 was another record year for the computer security industry with software revenues alone reaching almost US$2.5bn in Western Europe, a new study from IDC has found.

Despite an uncertain economic environment and a cautious attitude to new IT investments, computer security continues to be seen as a priority area by many European enterprises.

“SoBig, Slammer, Nachi, Bugbear, and Blaster – 2003 was clearly a year of too many high-profile outbreaks. Beyond this typical threat environment, enterprises had to deal with an onslaught of ‘enlarge and reduce’ spamming, lingering corporate productivity concerns and potentially image-shattering legal liability issues,” said Thomas Raschke, programme manager for IDC’s European Security Products and Strategies research.

He added: “IT security investments remain a top priority for most European organisations. This, of course, gives the security industry the opportunity to move beyond a predominantly insurance-type sales approach and instead deliver on the promise of holistic, tailor-made security concepts that enable organisations to literally ‘mind their own business.'”

Corporate concerns with regulatory compliance, spam, worms/viruses, and identity management will help to drive the security software market to achieve more than US$5bn in 2008, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 15pc, according to IDC’s study – ‘Western European Security Software 2004-2008 Forecast’.

At an IDC market briefing in Dublin earlier this week, security was identified as a key area for corporate spending in the next 12 months along with IT infrastructure, broadband and mobile solutions.

In a January 2004 survey of UK & Ireland business executives, IDC found that spending on security software such as secure content management systems, antivirus and firewalls was identified by over half of those polled as a priority area.

“Security is the one area of IT market that has continued to expand at a double-digit growth rate over the last two years,” observed Steve Minton, IDC’s director for worldwide IT markets and strategies.

By Brian Skelly