Demand from small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and advanced persistent threats were key growth drivers for the global security software, which saw revenue hit US$17.7 billion last year.
According to Gartner, this was a 7.5 percent climb from 2010 which saw revenue reach US$16.4 billion. "Growth in the 2011 security market reflects a continuation in demand for consumer and enterprise security tools," Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner, said in a report released Thursday. "However, despite overall solid growth, some regions did not experience the high-double-digit growth of emerging Asia-Pacific and Eurasia, which has been driven by 'greenfield' projects and buoyant economies."
He pointed to Western Europe, which he said proved the "laggard" due to the region's uncertain economic situation.
Gartner added that the security software market remained resilient amid restrictions on IT budgets, and Intel writing down considerable revenue following its McAfee acquisition, which prevented the market from reaching double-digit growth. The research firm explained that following the completion of the acquisition on Feb. 28 last year, Intel was required--as a result of typical purchase accounting rules--to write down about 30 percent of McAfee's US$1.4 billion deferred revenue, resulting in the chipmaker's significant decline in revenue in 2011.
Worldwide, Symantec retained its leadership position in both the enterprise and consumer security market segments, clocking an annual growth rate of 17 percent to reach US$3.7 billion revenue last year. It had a market share of 20.6 percent.
Gartner added that the security vendor had continued to widen its offerings beyond traditional endpoint products by focusing on the storage and data backup space, as well as on data security through its data loss prevention and encryption products.
McAfee ranked second with a market share of 6.9 percent, although its revenue dipped 27.5 percent to 1.2 billion in 2011, followed closely by third-placed Trend Micro with a market share of 6.8 percent and revenue growth of 11.3 percent to US$1.2 billion.
IBM and EMC round up the top five vendor list in fourth and fifth positions, respectively, according to Gartner. IBM accounted for 5.3 percent of the global market with a 14.2 percent revenue growth to reach 930.1 million last year, while EMC had a market share of 4 percent and revenue growth of 14.3 percent to hit 716.1 million.