SAN FRANCISCO: Analyst firm IDC has some good news for the rows of vendors showing their wares at the RSA conference this week: The security market is still growing.

Speaking during IDC's annual analyst breakfast meeting at RSA, Chris Christiansen, program vice president for IDC's Security Products and Services group, detailed key trends in the sector.

"The IDC security group started in 1997 and every year people say the numbers are too high," Christiansen said. "We keep emphasizing that the security market is unlike any other IT sector."


The security business deals with ongoing and evolving threats that threaten companies' ability to do business. The dynamic nature of the threat landscape is also a cause for continuous innovation and creates a never-ending need for security products.

Which Areas Are Growing?

"We're not seeing 50 or 60 percent growth rates anymore, but double-digit growth in this market is pretty amazing," Christiansen said.

In terms of specific sectors, IDC saw year-over-year growth of 17.3 percent for the secure messaging market, nearing almost $700 million in revenue for 2012. The network security market grew at a 12.1 percent year-over-year pace to just over $1.2 billion.

"We're seeing strong growth in UTM (Unified Threat Management) and the appliance area in general," Christiansen said.

Companies are expressing increased interest in Web security delivered via a software-as-a-service model. SaaS security is seeing growth of 28.1 percent, nearing $340 million in revenues. Security and vulnerability management vendor technologies grew 10.4 percent, to nearly $440 million.

BYOD, Big Data and Other Security Trends

From a trend perspective, IDC predicts revived interest in Network Access Control (NAC) as a key feature for enterprise access and BYOD.

Big Data-based iterative intelligence is another key trend observed by IDC. The basic idea behind iterative intelligence is that security pros can see attacks and then incorporate the lessons learned into a collection mechanism; thus they get smarter every time they see an attack.

"The level of integration necessary to do this really well is difficult," Christiansen said.

The Internet of Things is also set to be a big topic in security as everything gets an IP address. "It'll be creepy; you'll know more about stuff than you should," Christiansen said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.