The future of security? Hardware

The security market is to be flooded with hardware appliances, says IDC analyst

Eighty-five percent of IT security solutions will be catered for by hardware appliances by 2008.

The popularity of hardware appliances is set to soar by 23 percent because they are easy to install and are ideal for understaffed security departments, according to IDC analyst Thomas Raschke.

"There are big advantages to appliances, such as plug and play, which makes it much easier if you have few resources," said Raschke, programme manager in Europe for security products and strategy, who added that mainland European companies are quicker on the uptake when it comes to security appliances than those in the UK and Ireland.

The uptake of security appliances has a lot to do with the fact that enterprises are now installing them in their main networks, having seen lower-end devices prove themselves in branch offices. Companies are also waking up to the fact that security appliances can be much easier to manage than software installed on general-purpose servers.

Raschke continued his opening speech at the IDC Security Conference in London to say that the security market value would accelerate from $2.5bn to $5bn by 2008.

"The firewall and virtual private network market only has a growth rate of 5 percent," said Raschke. "This market is fairly mature. But security content tools, such as antivirus, will grow by 18 percent. This is a market to watch because it will really grow."

There was good news for IT managers -- IT budgets are also set to rise. IDC's prediction, which correlated with research in spending trends from the National Computing CentreRascke, estimated that security spending will rise from 2.5 percent to 4 percent.

But spam is set to continue to rise. Raschke said that in 2004, 17 billion spam emails were sent and that number is set to rise to 23 million by 2007, although he failed to mention where he got this number from. He said that 50 percent of all spam comes from Florida.

"Spam is not going to go away," said Raschke. "We are looking at half of email traffic that will be spam. [Currently] employees spend 10 minutes a day deleting spam."

Raschke said that Microsoft is changing the way it thinks about security, while Linux solutions were becoming a viable option for businesses.

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