Network security finds greater acceptance in SMBs
The network security market in India is experiencing a very high growth rate when compared to other emerging markets. Large enterprises and governments have already realized the need to adopt network security solutions to protect the huge amount of data residing on the public networks. At present the SMB segment also seems to be upbeat about network security. A recent study by New York based research firm AMI-Partners revealed that Indian SMBs are estimated to have spent nearly $45 million in 2012 on network security appliances including unified threat management (UTM), network firewalls and VPN solutions. According to the study titled: “2013 India Network Security Appliance Market Landscape”, the research firm noted that the current spending share of the SMBs in this market is not far behind that of large enterprises.
Somnath Das, Manager-Research at AMI-Partner noted the demand for IT security is the key growth driver in the network security market for India SMBs. Moreover, emerging wireless LAN-based technologies such as 3G, wimax, and Wi-Fi hotspots enhance the need for securing the data residing on these networks. “The increase in usage of various forms of broadband facilitating greater usage of business traffic through web and mobile services has augmented the need for network security among India SMBs. It is also important to mention that larger SMBs are now transmitting more critical applications over their networks for greater availability throughout their organization,” he mentioned.
UTM drives adoption
Another key trend is the shift towards convergence. This has led to strong adoption of network security solutions and has also enhanced the security appliances market. According to the AMI-Partners, UTM is a main component of the security appliances market and promises rich future possibilities for this segment. “By adopting UTM a typical SMB can obtain enterprise level network protection and rapidly adapt itself to reduce the adverse effects of newly-evolving threats emanating from sources such as Web 2.0, VoIP, streaming media, IM, P2P, etc,” explained. Furthermore, UTM enjoys a much lower TCO and is a more affordable approach for SMBs. Currently, India SMBs contribute nearly one-third of the UTM market revenue of all India businesses. “A key feature of the UTM market has been its healthy growth rate in the last 3 years remaining unaffected by the uncertain economic climate. It is expected that the India SMB UTM market will continue to gain traction in the next two to three years with double-digit annual growth rates predicted,” added Das.
In terms of preference, Das reveals that India SMBs are likely to be more attracted by a versatile and multi-functional “all-in-one-box” type of security application including features such as end-point security, secure web and mail gateway. These businesses prefer easier and hassle-free management of security devices,” he said stating that the key reason that India SMBs prefer this type of technology is their lack of internal IT management infrastructure. Just over a quarter of India SMBs employ a full-time, dedicated internal IT professional.
The study provides critical insights into vendor activities focused on India SMBs within the network security appliance space. According to Das, almost all vendors are competing to reach this lucrative market segment through innovative offerings, introducing combinations of models with multiple features, and lower prices. These factors have greatly enhanced the options for SMBs in the network security appliances arena. The market has also witnessed the emergence of local players offering products at par with global standards.
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