Cisco Leads Slowing Security Appliance Market: IDC

Worldwide factory revenue was up 5.7 percent year over year to just over $2 billion, as shipments increased 1 percent to 499,022 units.

The security appliance market, led by Cisco, Check Point and Fortinet, grew in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12) compared to the previous year, according to IT research firm IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Security Appliance Tracker.

Cisco continued to lead the overall security appliance market with 16.2 percent share in factory revenue for the third quarter, but this was down from 17.3 percent in the prior year period. Check Point held the No. 2 spot with 12.8 percent share for the quarter as revenue increased 12.8 percent compared to the third quarter of 2011.

Fortinet saw the largest growth among the top five vendors at 17.2 percent. The share of others increased primarily due to strong quarters from Palo Alto Networks and Sourcefire, while the combined shares of the top five global vendors represented 48.5 percent of the market in 3Q12.

Worldwide factory revenue was up 5.7 percent year over year to just over $2 billion, as shipments increased 1 percent to 499,022 units. In the previous quarter, factory revenue growth was 6.6 percent and unit growth was 5.8 percent compared to the second quarter of 2011.

At the functional market level, the Unified Threat Management (UTM) segment saw the largest year-over-year revenue growth at 24.3 percent and accounted for 33.3 percent of security appliance revenues in 3Q12, as multi-function appliances continue to drive growth in the overall market.

The firewall and virtual private network (VPN) market represented 26.7 percent of security appliance revenues thanks to 7.3 percent year-over-year growth due primarily to Cisco and Juniper. The IPS and VPN segments were the only markets to show revenue declines compared to 3Q11, the report found.

"Overall, macroeconomic conditions have been questionable at best. While the security market remains more resilient than others, there was a definite slow-down in growth rates in the third quarter," IDC research manager of security products John Grady said in a statement. "That being said, the evolving threat landscape continues to drive spending on security products as organizations battle to keep their infrastructures secure and their data protected."

Geographically, revenue grew fastest in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) with a 13.3 percent year-over-year increase. Western Europe continued to see sluggish growth, increasing just 0.5 percent year over year. Japan had the highest unit growth year over year of 8.3 percent, followed closely by combined Central and Eastern Europe and Middle East, and Africa at 7.9 percent. The United States recorded 4.6 percent revenue growth on a unit decrease of 1.2 percent versus 3Q11, which IDC said indicated some softness in lower price bands and that revenue growth was driven by larger enterprises and service providers.

"The shift in network security for continuous security processes in detecting threats that other solutions miss is leading the move for unified security management for protection against advanced threats, modern malware, and data theft," Ebenezer Obeng-Nyarkoh, an IDC senior research analyst, for the worldwide trackers group said in a statement.