Asia to shift security focus to manageability

Once they have security devices in place, companies in the region will look to performance and ease of management, says Frost & Sullivan.

Businesses in the Asia-Pacific region will increasingly focus on the manageability and performance of security appliances, says research company Frost & Sullivan.

Nitin Acharekar, Frost & Sullivan's head of enterprise research for ICT in the Asia-Pacific region, said that in a typical security user cycle, emphasis shifts from focusing on a specific new technology or tool, to manageability and performance issues of the security infrastructure.

"'Acceptable [level of] security' is and will be the most important decision criteria," he said, during a briefing last week. "However, once the acceptable level is reached, companies will focus on deriving better mileage by focusing on manageability or performance."

For example, the gateway firewall appliance evolved as a more effective means to manage security, although the technologies that had originally created interest in this area were gateway firewall applications, desktop antivirus and gateway antivirus tools, said Acharekar. Similarly, after intrusion detection systems were introduced, an organization's manageability and performance needs led to the evolution of intrusion prevention systems (IPS) and integrated security appliances, he said.

According to Acharekar, e-mail and Web content filtering are the new wave of security tools. Improving the manageability of security with the addition of those tools, would likely lead to "further growth" in endpoint compliance--making sure devices that connect to the corporate network comply with the company's security policies--and security management, he said.

Figures from Frost & Sullivan indicate that managed security services will contribute about US$1.2 billion to the Asia-pacific region's overall security market in 2010.

The Singapore-based Acharekar also noted that there will be strong demand for integrated security appliances.

According to Frost & Sullivan, standalone appliances will account for about 36 percent of the firewall and virtual private network (VPN) market in 2010, down from about 60 percent in 2005. On the other hand, multi-feature security devices are expected to contribute about 30 percent in 2010, more than double the 16 percent in 2005.

"Integrated security has really gathered momentum in last two years," said Acharekar. Large enterprises still prefer standalone appliances, he said. However, as the value proposition for integrated devices shifts from one where companies can achieve lower TCO (total cost of ownership), to one where they can improve their security infrastructure, Acharekar expects that large enterprises will increasingly adopt integrated security appliances.

He added that the adoption of integrated security products is likely to "creep in from the low-end and mid-to-high end of customer segments", between two and four years' time. He noted that by then, technologies in this market space will mature, and customers will be more aware of products offering integrated security.

The Asia-Pacific region's security market will reach US$7 billion by 2010, according to Frost & Sullivan. The market includes firewall and IPSec VPN; SSL (Secure Socket Layer) VPN; IDS and IPS; antivirus, e-mail filtering, Web content filtering and managed security services.

Earlier this year, research analyst IDC predicted that the security appliance server market will reach US$1.1 billion by 2010. The analyst did not include managed security services in its estimates.

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