Sat, Dec 10, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Security software revenue surged 31.5% in first half

CYBER ATTACKS Faced with increasingly sophisticated Internet threats, companies are boosting their security software to safeguard their assets and confidentiality

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Amid rising Internet threats such as spam, phising and spyware, the local information security software market saw revenues rise year-on-year in the first six months of the year, a report said.

The overall revenues of the security software market amounted to US$22.9 million during the first half of the year, representing a growth of 31.5 percent from the same period last year, International Data Corp (IDC) said in a report released on Thursday.

The growth was mainly driven by market demand on secure content management solutions, which accounted for 75 percent of the security market's total sales. This segment reported an expansion of 45.9 percent from last year.

The second largest segment went to identity and access management solutions, which accounted for 14 percent of total market revenues, according to the research house.

"More vendors have now come up with new security technologies, built up new business models and focused on market education. This has prompted more enterprises to switch from just passively deploying these solutions to proactively inquiring and even planning to increase deployment," said Lawrence Chen (陳志杰), an IDC analyst.

Faced with increasingly sophisticated spyware, junk mail, fraudulent mail and phising, companies are worried if these threats might cause disruptions in their mail and Internet systems, resulting in loss of confidential data, Chen said.

Realizing the harm that these threats could inflict, some firms are more willing to utilize additional solutions to protect information security, or continuously upgrade to newer software versions, he added.

"Some have even started looking for identity management solutions to authenticate internal staff and external partners, to ensure a more comprehensive defense system for the company's assets," Chen said.

Sharing the same opinion, Jimmy Leu (呂理正), manager of consumer and small business sales at Symantec Taiwan Co, said that enterprises can expect more, but not less, cyber attacks in the future.

"Though we saw a decline in major virus outbreaks in these two years, spam, which includes phising, is on the rise and has destroyed some enterprises' operations," he said.

Phising is an attempt to fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as passwords, by masquerading as a trustworthy person or business in an apparently official electronic communication, such as e-mail.

To safeguard a company's security network, Leu advised companies to enforce Internet security policies among their staff, as self discipline is more critical than simply deploying expensive solutions.

Meanwhile, the IDC report indicated that there was a marginal sales decline during the first six months for segments such as firewall and virtual private network management, intrusion detection and prevention, as well as security and vulnerability management solutions.

"As most firms have now tightened their IT budgets, we see a trend of clients asking for total and integrated solutions, and no longer just going for vendors who offer standalone, best-of-breed solutions," Chen said.

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