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Canalys
announced the results of its latest enterprise security forecasts, indicating
that total investment is expected to grow 8.7 percent year-on-year in 2012 to
reach a market value of $22.9 billion worldwide. Currently accounting for 11.3
percent of the total market, the antivirus (AV) segment will remain one of the
strongest parts of the security industry next year, and is expected to increase
by 6.8 percent year-on-year. Though a mature technology, AV software continues
to drive revenue for many resellers, both large and small. It is the first step
most small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) take in securing their
infrastructure, the report noted.

Moving
forward, Canalys anticipates that results in the SMB market will define
security vendor leadership. Smaller vendors are working to displace Symantec,
McAfee and Trend Micro in this segment, thanks to their noted reputations in
the consumer space. Kaspersky Lab, one of the fastest growing AV vendors, is
using its strong retailer relationships and powerful consumer brand to
successfully confront incumbents, for example. Other vendors, such as Panda
Security, F-Secure, ESET and AVG, are increasingly gaining market share, posing
a threat to top-tier vendors.

“Demand
for AV technologies varies depending on customer size,” said Canalys research
analyst Nushin Hernandez. “SMBs are typically looking for base-level protection
from online threats, while larger organizations generally have clear security
strategies in place. SMBs do not see themselves as targets for hackers, and
many do not invest in full perimeter security. What they fail to realize is
that security risks to businesses of all sizes are prevalent. The need to
secure sensitive data is more critical than ever.”

The
analyst firm also announced today its summary of top trends for the SMB IT
security market in 2012, predicting consumer buying patterns and behaviors will
dominate SMB security spending. The report said many small companies both are price-sensitive
and lack an understanding of the real security threats to their businesses and
many SMBs mistakenly equate AV technology deployment with full protection from
threats.
Vendors will increasingly sell solutions through their online stores. Symantec
is now offering up to 1,000 licenses through its online store, followed by
McAfee at 250. Sophos allows the purchase of up to 199 licenses and Trend Micro
and Kaspersky Lab up to 50 each. “This is a strategic move to gain share in the
high-volume, low-value end of the market, as many SMBs buy online,” the report
noted.