Antivirus software sales expected to show strong growth in 2012

As hackers continue to strike businesses, the security industry is expected to have a big year

The prevalence with which hackers are handing out headaches to IT security pros will have a big upside for vendors in the coming year, according to new figures from Canalys.

The analyst company predicts enterprise security software investments will increase 8.7 percent year-on-year for 2012, reaching US$22.9 billion worldwide.

Although antivirus software has been assailed for not keeping up with emerging threats, it will be one of the sources of growth because it is still considered a required base level of security. That segment is expected to grow 6.8 percent year-on-year.

Canalys also said smaller vendors will chip away at the dominance of companies such as Symantec, Trend Micro and McAfee. One of the fastest growing vendors is Kaspersky Lab, and others gaining market share include Panda Security, F-Secure, Eset and AVG.

Many small businesses now do not realize that they need to secure data just as much as larger business, Canalys said. Those small companies tend to have consumer buying patterns when it comes to selecting security software and are more price sensitive than knowledgeable about threats.

Vendors are making it easier for SMBs to buy antivirus software through online stores, Canalys said. Symantec allows businesses to buy up to 1,000 licenses online, and others such as McAfee, Sophos, Trend Micro and Kaspersky Lab have volume licensing deals online.

The strategic move is aimed at gaining more share in the high-volume, low-value end of the SMB market, Canalys said.

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This story, "Antivirus software sales expected to show strong growth in 2012" was originally published by IDG News Service .

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