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Sun 16 Dec 2007 03:27 PM

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Enterprises pay out for effective defence

Analyst firm IDC states that security spending in the Gulf region will top US$250 million driven by growth in the financial sector and an increasingly sophisticated enterprise sector.

Security spending in the Gulf is set to grow by 37.4% this year, to create a market worth US$250 million, according to research firm IDC.

The company said in its latest report, that investment in IT security software and appliances in the Gulf (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar) shot up by almost 60% year-on-year to reach nearly $180 million.

Threat management and secure content management made up the bulk of the security software market accounting for 56.4% and 24% respectively.

IDC projects that over the next five years, the security software and appliances market in the Gulf region will grow at an average annual rate of 23%.

Growth in the financial sector, and an increasingly sophisticated enterprise sector was driving demand, according to the report.

Threat management made up the bulk of the security software market in the Gulf states, accounting for 56.4% of total spending. This segment grew 61.2% year-on-year as companies build perimeter protection for their new network infrastructure. secure content management (SCM) was the second largest segment, with 24.0% share. The security and vulnerability management segment represented 11.4% of the total market, having almost doubled as compared to the previous year.

Biggest spenders on security solutions were governments, which accounted for 26.9%, followed by telecommunications and finance, with 22.6% and 21.2% shares respectively.

Saudi Arabia made up the bulk of spending, accounting for 41% of the market, with the UAE second on 31.2%. IDC predicts that all GCC markets will continue to show double-digit security spending growth this year, with Saudi Arabia expected to grow by a healthy 45%, the UAE by 36.6% and Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar by 27.2%.

The three leading vendors on the Gulf IT security market were Cisco, Juniper, and Symantec. Their combined market share reached nearly 49% of the total revenue.

Vinay Nair, senior analyst, IDC MEA commented: "The IT security market benefits heavily from investments in basic infrastructure by companies across the region, which inevitably includes threat management and secure content management technologies. But it doesn't end there. The rapidly growing consumer banking sector has a cartload of compliance rules that require a variety of security solutions and a large number of firms - particularly in the UAE - are making increasingly sophisticated investments in information leakage detection and prevention technology.

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