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Vendor IT security software revenue increases

Fueled by continued compliance demands and an evolving threat landscape, global software security revenue totaled $10.4 billion last year, a jump of nearly 20 percent, an analyst firm said Tuesday.

Gartner said worldwide revenue rose from $8.7 billion, thanks to drivers such as compliance, sophisticated threats, data leakage and privacy concerns.

Symantec led security software providers in 2007 with $2.77 billion in revenue, good for a 26.6 percent market share. Big Yellow's revenue increased eight percent from 2006, when it raked in $2.56 billion.

McAfee followed with $1.23 billion in revenue, up 14.2 percent from the prior year. Then came Tokyo-based Trend Micro, which garnered $810 million in revenue, a spike of 15.4 percent.

Of the top six security software vendors, the two with the most explosive growth from 2006 to 2007 were IBM (30.7 percent increase) and EMC (240.5 percent increase). Both companies' bottom lines have been bolstered by major security acquisitions.

IBM picked up Internet Security Systems for $1.3 billion in August 2006, and EMC snared RSA Security for $2.1 billion a couple of months earlier. IBM, fourth on the list, recorded $608 million in revenue in 2007, while EMC, sixth on the list, took home $415 million.

CA, the fifth-highest revenue producer, earned $419 million last year but was the only company whose income dropped (2.8 percent) from the prior year.

Islandia, N.Y.-based CA, which has seen a number of senior-level managers leave for other posts, attempted to stave off its economic struggles in 2006, when it announced it was laying off 1,700 employees following a profits plunge. At the time, the company, which specializes in identity management solutions, said the move would save it about $200 million annually beginning this year.

Aside from the top six revenue earners, the hundreds of other vendors that make up the IT security market brought in $4.17 billion. Gartner warned, though, that Microsoft's entry into the space "will further erode pricing in this segment."

Gartner said the companies that saw the biggest gains offered products in email security and security information and event management. Meanwhile, enterprise anti-virus and web access management grew at the smallest rates.

The analyst firm said anti-virus sales were down because the technology is increasingly being offered as part of an integrated solution, and access management is already a mature technology.

"Price competition among vendors is also bringing prices down in the more mature stand-alone market segments," Gartner principal research analyst Ruggero Contu said in a statement. "Changes in the way vendors package and price their solutions in the future will ultimately impact pricing and make some security technologies as pervasive as PCs."

Latin America saw a 40 percent growth in vendor revenue, followed by the Middle East and Africa and Asia-Pacific.

North America vendors earned the most revenue, with Western Europe second.

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