Frost & Sullivan s Analysis Of The World Antivirus Market

Advent Of Multi-Layered Security Solutions Boosts Antivirus Market

The demand for software products vowing to stamp out viruses is being fuelled by the increasingly malicious and complex nature of intruder activity threatening widespread infection of computer systems.

The ongoing concern over crippling attacks necessitates the continuous upgrade of anti-virus software to ensure maximum protection in the enterprise. According to a new study by Frost & Sullivan, this trend bodes well for the global antivirus market, with revenues expected to rise from $1.97 billion in 2002 to just below $3.98 billion in 2007.

As upgrades to a multi-layered protection system in an effort to combat all common threats become more widely accepted, large companies, in particular, are increasingly focussed on eliminating their security vulnerabilities.

The gradual migration to multi-layered virus protection in the enterprise market opens up opportunities for different vendors to penetrate the same account. However, there is a balance between using different scan engines for network protection and the convenience and cost of dealing with a single vendor, notes Jose Lopez, Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. The study underlines the favourable impact of multi-layered protection, the main force behind the explosive revenue growth in the world antivirus market.

Extensive media coverage of virus propagation and high-profile scares have increased awareness of viruses and their impact on business and emphasised the importance of precautionary measures to thwart attacks in the consumer and enterprise arena. This summer’s SoBig intruder, one of the most virulent worms yet, showed the general public and IT decision-makers to what extent a virus can wreak havoc on computer systems.

There is also speculation in the marketplace that more sophisticated viruses will be used for commercial espionage. The same is true of malicious mobile code. This will add to the press coverage of anti-virus issues and will fuel demand for the products on the market. The increased media reportage of viruses and mobile code threats also makes it much more attractive for copycat attacks to be released, Mr Lopez states.

At present, antivirus solutions are effective for detecting and removing known viruses. However, the recent spate of worm attacks highlights the fact that traditional antivirus solutions are out-of-date and ineffective against the new threats.

Nevertheless, Mr Lopez remarks, some vendors have noticed their weakness and are either incorporating behavioural analysis capabilities into their products or at least partnering with intrusion detection vendors for increased protection. Furthermore, vendors are urged to proactively educate potential users to drive adoption of their solutions.

Encryption software s core purpose is to make private any transmission of data that is put through it. Therefore, if a virus is encrypted, it can pass through the antivirus software undetected, ready to corrupt. If the antivirus software has sandboxing capabilities, this problem can be avoided as the virus is exposed and neutralised in a contained environment.

However, this capability has not yet become a standard feature of all available packages. This apparent contradiction needs to be dealt with before companies will spend on both products, Mr Lopez warns.

Commanding 45 percent of the world market in 2002, North America, led by the US, is by far the dominant region. Although its leading position will not be encroached upon, North America s contribution is expected to decrease by 2007. EMEA contributes to approximately one third of the total revenues and its contribution is expected to increase very slightly by 2007. The Asia Pacific market is forecast to grow faster than the rest of the regions and will represent over 20 percent of the total market by 2007.

The top vendors, capturing over three quarters of the total market, include Symantec, Network Associates and Trend Micro. A second tier of vendors, responsible for a total market share of over 10 percent, comprise Sophos, Computer Associates, Sybari, Panda Software and F-Secure.

The remaining share is constituted by AhnLab, Aladdin Knowledge Systems, Alwil Software, Authentium (Command Software), Beixinyuan, BullGuard, CA Jinchen, Cat Computer, Central Command, CyberSoft International, DialogueScience, Eset, Finjan, Frisk Software, GFI, Grisoft, H+BEDV, HackSoft, Hauri, Jiangmin, Kaspersky Labs, Kingsoft, MKS Sp, Norman ASA, Proland Software, Reflex Magnetics, Rising, Softwin, Stiller Research and Ukrainian Antiviral Center.

The enterprise market, expected to grow from $1444.8 million in 2002 to $3040.7 million in 2007, is set to benefit from the uptake of multi-layered approach to virus protection as a growing number of companies, especially medium-to-large enterprises, are expected to adopt protection at desktop, server and gateway levels. Consumer business experiences slower and greater volatility than the enterprise sector and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.6 percent from $525 million in 2002 to $938.7 million in 2007.

Short-term growth for the consumer market can be difficult to predict as anti-virus sales move up and down with the outbreaks of viruses and other malicious code, as well as being influenced by the cyclical environment of PC sales and new releases of Microsoft operating systems.

Frost & Sullivan s review of product market performance shows that PCs represent the largest opportunity for selling anti-virus software. This is the most mature area but a new uptake on retail sales in 2003, which is expected to be mirrored in 2004, has had a favourable impact on our revenue forecasts. PC anti-virus software is expected to grow from $1173 million in 2002 to $1543 million in 2007, Mr Lopez concludes.

Frost & Sullivan, an international growth consultancy, has been supporting clients’ expansion for more than four decades. Our market expertise covers a broad spectrum of industries, while our portfolio of advisory competencies include custom strategic consulting, market intelligence and management training. Our mission is to forge partnerships with our clients’ management teams to deliver market insights and to create value and drive growth through innovative approaches. Frost & Sullivan’s network of consultants, industry experts, corporate trainers and support staff, spans the globe with offices in every major country.

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