Gartner: Almost half of security software market controlled by five vendors

Nearly half of the security software market is controlled by the top five vendors, according to the latest survey from the Gartner research firm. However, there is still a considerable drop.

Nearly half of the security software market is controlled by the top five vendors, according to the latest survey from the Gartner research firm. However, there is still a considerable drop.

Gartner found that approximately "44 percent of the $16.5 billion worldwide security software market in 2010 belonged to Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro, IBM and EMC." That's still a large chunk of the pie, but when you consider it to the 60 percent status in 2006, it's easier to see how things have slid.

As seen in Gartner's graph below, Symantec has taken the biggest hit in the last five years:

Ruggero Contu, principal research analyst at Gartner, attributes part of the decline to a rise in competition:

Market expansion and innovation are driven partly as a result of new start-up players entering the market. New players bring innovative technology solutions to cater for end-user requirements that in turn are created as a result of the new threats, often introduced by cybercriminals taking advantage of new vulnerabilities created by changes to IT ecosystems.

Yet, there is still room for this market to fluctuate either way, meaning that the security software market could be re-consolidated to four or five major players as most end users actually tend to prefer fewer but more familiar choices.

However, as Contu reiterates that newer and more unusual security threats will thwart this from time to time:

The complexity of end users' product portfolios will not be solved in the short term because new, stand-alone niche tools will continue to be purchased to solve new rising threats and vulnerabilities that incumbent players haven't been able to address.

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