Security software sales beating the slowdown

The revenue from security software sales in 2008 was almost 20 per cent bigger than the year before, indicating that the poor economy isn't affecting the security market, according to analyst Gartner.

Worldwide security software revenue totalled $13.5 billion during the year an increase of 18.6 per cent from 2007.

The growth of security software spending is due to a focus on data security and privacy, according to the analyst who also pointed to a need to protect IT from sophisticated and targeted attacks - which are getting worse.

"In 2008, the security market did not show any noticeable impact from the economic downturn," said principal research analyst Ruggero Contu in a statement.

"A double-digit growth in a challenging economic climate shows that security remains a key priority for CIOs and security leaders."

Symantec led the security market with 22 per cent sales of worldwide security software in 2008. However, this was a decrease in market share from 2007 when it had 24.4 per cent.

McAfee had the biggest growth rate among the top five security vendors, with a 20.5 per cent revenue increase.

The market share for the top five vendors has fallen in favour of the smaller companies. Gartner said this was a sign that security remained dynamic, with smaller and upcoming companies still able to challenge the established players.