Security Year in Review by Mark Finan

Mark Finan is the Marketing Manager at Attix5 UK. Founded in South Africa and based in the United Kingdom, Attix5 is the market leader in the development of remote, managed and secure backup and retrieval software. For more information on their software read this article.

2002 has seen the convergence of a number of factors that will be the springboard for the security market in 2003 and, more specifically, the growth of the market for secure backup of critical data. From a marketing perspective, the timing could not be better for the emergence of truly end-to end solutions for critical data protection, backup and recovery.

Market Drivers

As IDC point out in their report Antivirus Software 2002: A Segmentation of the Market, there has been a significant increase in blended security threats designed to get past point-solution security products that will drive the security market next year. For me, there are some other key drivers that centre on two main factors: Corporate Governance and Internet Growth.

Corporate Governance

Gartner group notes that more than two out of five companies do not survive a catastrophic blow to their computer systems and data; also as much as 50% of this corporate data now resides unprotected on distributed systems, e.g. laptops and desktop PCs. During 2002, we have seen the pressures and responsibilities at board level increase exponentially. The Turnbull Report in the UK, and King Report II in South Africa, are examples of how the responsibility for good corporate governance is being placed squarely on the shoulders of company directors. You can run but you cannot hide from the need to evaluate and adopt security solutions that reduce both the company and your own personal risk.

Internet Growth

The increase in availability of higher bandwidth at home and in the office is also a catalyst for growth with increasing data traffic, transactions and storage requirements. Only this month, it was announced that cyber-shopping transactions on the Internet in the UK for the first time exceeded one billion pounds in November 2002. This should not be such a big surprise with cheaper bandwidth enabling 43% of UK homes to have a more positive experience on-line and more people then ever accessing the Internet from work. This growth can only mean a maturing of the market, which will fuel demand for security products and services including the need to secure back up critical data both at home and in the office.

With this growth in users, bandwidth and heightened tensions around the world we can expect to see more hacking and virus incidents particularly during the holiday season. The risk of blended attacks, the combination of physical and digital attacks, is higher than ever.

With the ever growing demands to get more business value from IT solutions, both IT and Business managers at the Corporate and SME level are now looking for products that really can reduce costs, make life easier for them and at the same time reduce company risk. This pressure is creating market demand for commodity security solutions that reduce or in some cases even negate capital expenditure and can be up and running in hours rather than weeks. Attix5 are already supplying the market with fully automated solutions that not only meet today’s need for secure backup of critical data, but are also ready to meet the data challenges of tomorrow.

The legacy of 9/11

9/11 brought a new perspective to security thinking and caused many companies to delay projects while they reassessed their vulnerabilities. The period for reflection is now over and many companies are prioritising their spending with security as the number one priority. Meta Group reports that they expect 55 percent of companies will be spending more than 5 percent-plus of their IT budgets on security by the end of next year. So while the general trend in IT spending may be down security will be the exception.

Security of critical data is set for growth

With an increase of blended threats, the pressure for better corporate governance, and the drive for business value from IT investment, the security market can expect to see rapid growth particularly in commodity security products and solutions for the protection and recovery of critical data. Companies like Preventon Technologies Limited agree:

Adrian Foulkes, Preventon CEO Comments: “We foresee a growth in 2003 market conditions surrounding the need to implement comprehensive security solutions on each desktop to combat the new, ‘Blended threats’ approach recently forecast by IDG and others. To address this market trend, we will be introducing a ‘bundle’ product containing Preventon Personal Firewall, Anti-Virus and Content/Image Filtering during the early part of next year, for businesses and home users.

Protecting critical data and the ability to recover it easily, will continue to see focus from both the consumer and corporate markets. Attix5 is well placed to take advantage of this market growth through its Backup Professional solution, which makes the backing up, archiving, and retrieval of data from a remote destination, secure, quicker and easier than ever before. Because Backup Professional removes the need for traditional network or tape based systems, ROI is easily achieved thus addressing the need for increased business value from IT investment.