Demand for anti-spam products to increase

Move from software to hardware predicted for anti-spam products

Companies are increasingly looking to hardware appliances and hosted services rather than locally installed filtering software when it comes to combating spam, according to analyst firm Datamonitor.

The analyst group claims that email has moved from being an add-on service to a fundamental communications tool for most businesses. Any disruption to email can have a real impact on the companies performance according to the report, Global Email Filtering Solutions Markets, released this week.

"Email has quickly become the ubiquitous killer eBusiness application. Any threat to the effectiveness of this communication tool is a threat to the effectiveness of the organisation as a whole,” said the report author, Datamonitor enterprise security analyst Ian Williams.

In 2004 spam accounted for between 60 to 80 percent of all emails, according to several email filtering service providers. Due to this rise, there will be continued strong demand for email filtering solutions. These include anti-virus for email, anti-spam and traditional content filtering technologies. According to the report, the overall market for email filtering is set to grow from $1.1bn in 2004 to $2.87bn in 2008.

But according to Williams there is set to be a shift in demand for the type of filtering technology used. Demand for software-based systems is set drop in favour of hardware and services-based offerings.

Service-based filtering have the benefit of requiring little or no on-site maintenance and attendant complexities with the email infrastructure. With new providers such as Symantec and Blackspider entering the market customers now also have a greater choice, claims Datamonitor. 

Hardware appliances pre-loaded with filtering software are also proving increasingly popular. Buying an appliance allows customers to get a single, comprehensive solution for the majority of their email security needs, with reduced hardware costs and maintenance, according to Williams. 

As hardware typically comes with solutions preinstalled, customers often have a much easier time integrating them into their infrastructures compared with stand-alone software, which usually has to have each part integrated separately.

According to the report, the demand for hardware based solutions has been good for early vendors such as IronPort and CipherTrust.