The security appliance market continues to see positive momentum, with worldwide factory revenue growing 8 percent year over year to $2.1 billion in the first quarter of 2014, according to a report from IT research firm IDC.
Networking specialist Cisco continued to lead the overall security appliance market with a 17.5 percent share in factory revenue for the first quarter, growing a notable 11.7 percent compared with the first quarter of 2013. The IDC report noted this growth was driven in part by the acquisition of Sourcefire.
At the functional market level, the unified threat management (UTM) segment saw the largest year-over-year revenue increase at 23.5 percent and accounted for 42.7 percent of security appliance revenue in 1Q14 as multifunction appliances continue to drive growth in the overall market.
"Providing a high degree of reliability and advanced security in identifying and minimizing cyber crime remains a challenge to every defense system today," Ebenezer Obeng-Nyarkoh, senior research analyst for IDC's worldwide trackers group, said in a statement, "With the number and variety of cyber threats facing businesses on the rise, business owners are looking for comprehensive solutions to protect the huge volume of data on their organizational network."
Check Point again held the No. 2 spot for the quarter as revenue increased 7.7 percent year over year, while Fortinet remained the No. 3 security appliance vendor as market share increased to 7.1 percent on growth of 23.7 percent compared with 1Q13.
"Security concerns have absolutely risen in priority, due in part to the recent breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus, and others," John Grady, program manager for security products at IDC, said in a statement. "With C-level executives taking a more vested interest in their organizations' security posture, budget is being prioritized for security initiatives. This was exemplified by the fact that growth actually accelerated in the first quarter, which typically does not occur coming off the year end."
Palo Alto Networks surpassed Juniper to become the No. 4 security appliance vendor on year-over-year growth of 66.1 percent. Juniper rounded out the top five, growing 1.2 percent year over year and accounting for 6 percent of the market.
Geographically, North America grew 12.1 percent in the quarter while accounting for 43 percent of the market, helping drive top-line growth. Western Europe was essentially flat year over year, as pockets of economic uncertainly lengthen sales cycles and inhibit growth.
Latin America saw the highest year-over-year growth in the quarter at 20 percent. Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) also continued to see strong appliance sales, with revenue increasing 13.6 percent compared with the first quarter of 2013.