Work in an insecure economy
ech pundits predict that the year 2002 will be a "banner year for security providers of all types". Regular attacks by viruses, hackers and Trojans have made organisations increasing conscious of protecting vulnerable networks. The September 11 attack served as yet another grim reminder of the accentuated nature of the threat from cyberterrorism and the pressing need for an improved, effective and sophisticated security environment. It fuelled growing corporate appetite for local area network, Internet, extranet/intranet, and wireless access services that will drive demand for advanced information security services. According to an IDC report, the main security software markets - firewalls; encryption software; security authentication, authorisation and administration (3A); and antiviral software - grew by 25 per cent in 2001. It expects the value of the global information security services market to triple by 2005 to more than US $21 billion a year. Regionally, IDC believes demand for information security services will escalate quickly in rapid growth markets such as Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Western Europe. Of these, Asia Pacific is tipped to become one of the strongest markets for security services, growing almost 30 per cent a year.
In India, with the exceptions of IBM, Cisco and Novell few companies are operating in the security product space. To cite an instance, revenues from the administration, authorisation and authentication markets, the key security technology areas that will enable e-businesses to expand their customer bases, increase online transactions are expected to grow 28 per cent annually up to 2005. Worldwide companies in the space include IBM Tivoli, Computer Associates, Ubizen, RSA, Evidian, Baltimore Technologies, HP, Symantec, Internet Security Systems, Surf Control, Netegrity and Utiamico. Companies are likely to rely on products offered by established players. Ditto is the case with firewalls and anti-security software. The firewalls sector expanded by 42 per cent in 2001. But the market is evenly divided between Cisco, Network Associates, Netscreen Technologies, Computer Associates and Symantec.
Certain developments, however, indicate that Indian companies have not adopted a comatose approach to the security market. Indian companies are actively looking for global partners in the security space. In October 2001, Wiper Infotech, India's number one IT services organisation signed a pact with Symantec Corporation world leader in Internet Security Technology to jointly market the Symantec range of products and solutions in India. In December, Safescrypt Incorporated, the Indian arm of Verisign, announced availability of its range of security and trust solutions for Microsoft platforms. These include solutions for MS Exchange, Microsoft IIS servers, .NET initiatives and secure downloading of software on the Web. In 2001, IT Secure joined hands with Sonicwall, Incorporated, one of the market leaders in the firewall appliance market with over $100 million in sales, over 150,000 installations and 350 employees worldwide. Bangalore-based Proland Software, the anti-virus major's a product sold in over 100 countries in the in anti-virus software market. Certains MNCs such as Novell also shifted development of prime security products Border Manager to India. IBM, Cisco and HP are other multinationals doing development work from India.
Indian companies are also trying to leverage traditional expertise in solutions to offer a suite of network security solutions services. Bangalore-based PSI Data Systems, one of the biggest players is involved in developing back-end back security software for capitals market. Other players in the nework security market in India are Ramco, Infosys, Apara, Sify Corp HCL Comnet and Global Eserve. A marketing official at Ramco admitted that in 2002 the markets for the company's solutions will register high growths. For players like PSI data Systems and Infosys, the primary buyer of these services will be the financial services sector. Driven by concerns of maintaining network security, government regulations, and the need to remain a step ahead of fraud, financial sector spending on security is tipped to grow from US $848 million in 2000 to approximately US $2.2 billion in 2005.
For techies, despite the restricted number of players in India the continued need for anti-virus, firewall, content inspection, access control intrusion detection softwares will continue to drive demand for software professionals possessing domain expertise in the areas of network security. Internationally, IDG reports that salaries of network security professionals will record a 3.4 per cent increase in 2002 as opposed to the average 0.1 per cent for other software professionals.Paradocically, in an insecure economy, network security will be the anchor for software professionals.
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