The needs of a global workforce and privacy concerns are driving the sector to become a $13 billion business worldwide by 2012
Increasing demand for a mobile workforce and awareness of damage caused by security breaches will continue to drive the global security software market, Gartner said.
The industry analyst noted that China is the Asia-Pacific region's largest and fastest growing market, with revenues in the country reaching US$169.2 million in 2008 and US$266.8 million by 2012.
Security software venue for the overall region is projected to reach US$731.7 million this year, and US$1.05 billion by 2012, a Gartner spokesperson said in an e-mail interview. This market will grow at a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5 percent between 2007 and 2012.
Revenues are also predicted to increase in Malaysia and Singapore at a CAGR of 9.7 percent and 9.1 percent, respectively, over the same period. Malaysia's security software revenue will reach US$31.4 million in 2008, hitting US$43.7 million by 2012, the Gartner spokesperson told ZDNet Asia. In Singapore, revenues are expected to jump from US$22.4 million this year to US$30.4 million by 2012.
In the Philippines, security software revenue is projected to increase to US$10.2 million by 2012, from US$8 million in 2008, growing at a CAGR of 7.2 percent between 2007 and 2012.
Call for more "openness"
According to Ruggero Contu, Gartner's principal research analyst, organizations now recognize the need for a more "open" connectivity with business partners and third-party companies.
As such, Contu said in a statement, assessing the security infrastructure of third-party organizations is becoming a critical factor for businesses, as well as the need to secure communication points with these partners.
He added that small and midsize businesses (SMBs), specifically, are intensifying their focus on security technology and services and gradually moving from stand-alone applications toward integrated multifunction products.
The need for businesses to be compliant with government regulations, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), remains a significant factor driving security spending decisions, where investments are justified simply because the damage from breaches is potentially so great.
Contu said: "Security spending is driven by a variety of pressing concerns, the most immediate of which is the need to 'keep the bad guys out' through defensive measures such as next-generation firewalls. However, the 'let the good guys in' discipline such as identity and access management, is where business benefits and returns on investment can be more clearly shown."
According to Gartner, however, the security software market growth could be stunted by pressures of the economic instability on IT budgets.
The analyst added that merger-and-acquisition activities in the market could impede new purchases, because businesses are cautious about investing in products which may no longer be supported following a merger.
Increasing competition in certain segments such as antivirus and e-mail security, from large market entrants such as Microsoft and Google, will also force prices down and impact overall revenue growth over the next few years.