IDC Says Market for Security Appliances Growing Fast

Research shows hardware appliances are primary avenue for security software delivery

According to a report by IT analyst firm IDC, security appliances have become an integral part of Internet security programs. The company says that as more applications are offered in appliance format, this mode of delivery will grow to encompass an even greater share of the market.

The report, titled “Worldwide Security Appliance Forecast and Analysis, 2002-2006,” states that recent trends show hardware appliances are becoming the primary avenue by which customers purchase security. IDC predicts vendors will flock to the security appliance market because of the low barriers to entry and strong demand for a range of products. By IDC’s estimate, the trend toward security appliances, and away from traditional software-based security offerings, will become more pronounced in the coming years.

IDC’s research shows that the firewall and virtual private network (VPN) security appliance market achieved a healthy growth rate of 34 percent from 2000 to 2001 and exceeded the $1 billion mark in vendor revenue. The majority of that growth is the result of a 200 percent spike in demand in the consumer market, which was primarily driven by stronger offerings from consumer-oriented router vendors.

In addition, IDC estimates the market for network intrusion detection software appliances grew at an even steeper rate of 62 percent in 2001, while there was at least $32 million in vendor revenue from “other” security appliances during the same year. These appliances include a variety of applications, such as Web intrusion protection and clientless remote access solutions, as well as peripheral products that perform gateway anti-virus, content management, and e-mail security functions.

In the report, IDC recommends enterprises continue to focus on both software and hardware security solutions as part of their network protection programs. If software applications are unsuitable for an appliance, IDC says, enterprises should then look to partner with an application vendor that can include the software in a complete solution.

IDC attributes the strength of the security appliances’ market to the availability of a wide range of products that solve many enterprise security problems. The firm believes security appliances have become popular because they simplify the delivery, installation, and troubleshooting processes of security offerings in an enterprise environment.

About the Author

Matt Migliore is regular contributor to He focuses particularly on Microsoft .NET and other Web services technologies. Matt was the editor of several technology-related Web publications and electronic newsletters, including Web Services Report, ASP insights and MIDRANGE Systems.