Blaster, Sobig, and Nachi Reinforces Customer Need for Antivirus Software, Says IDC

FRAMINGHAM, MA – SEPTEMBER 2, 2003 – The worldwide antivirus software market proved to be a primary area for security spending in 2002, achieving $2.2 billion in revenues and representing an impressive 31% increase over 2001. IDC believes growth will continue over the next five years, reaching $4.4 billion in 2007, as protection against virus and worm attacks remains a top priority for corporations and greater awareness fuels consumer spending.

"The recent onslaught of viruses and worms such as Blaster, Nachi, and Sobig highlight the need for antivirus products and, more importantly, the need to update services. While corporate customers have long realized that antivirus software is only as good as its last update, consumers and small business customers are realizing the necessity of subscription-based updates," said Brian Burke, research manager for IDC's security products service.

According to IDC, both corporate and consumer spending on antivirus software increased in 2002, with consumer spending actually surpassing corporate spending by 8.5%. IDC believes increasing consumer knowledge regarding attacks and the rise in monthly subscription renewals for virus protection are driving growth in this segment.

Chris Christiansen, vice president for IDC's security products service adds, "Consumers and small businesses are finally recognizing the fact that antivirus software is more of a service than a product. Furthermore, the rapid infection by these new worm and virus attacks means that slow responses will cripple most customer environments because they will not be able to get ahead of the initial infection and the far more serious re-infections."

Viruses and worms continue to be, by a wide margin, the most common threat facing corporations today. A recent IDC survey of 325 firms across the United States revealed that 82% of respondents have experienced attacks. Over 30% of these organizations reported that the attack was detected but not repelled immediately. This grim statistic indicates that even though an attack is detected, it can still cause harm if the offending material is not promptly removed.

However, just as virus and worm detection technologies become more sophisticated, so do the virus writers. Moreover, worms and viruses are increasingly using Spam techniques — not just the exploitation of unprotected mail relays to maximize spread, but also the use of social engineering to trick victims into opening malicious files. IDC also believes that new attacks could derive revenue from illegal proliferation of an unauthorized Spam server.

To combat virus and worm attacks many organizations are adopting a "layered security" approach that combines solutions such as desktop antivirus, server and gateway antivirus, content filtering, and proactive techniques such as behavior analysis and heuristics. IDC believes traditional signature-based antivirustechnologies and behavior-based analysis technologies will increasingly be used together, allowing for a greater degree of accuracy in detecting known and unknown threats.

IDC's Worldwide Antivirus Forecast and Competitive Vendor Shares, 2002-2003: Return of the Consumer (IDC #29953),

examines the worldwide antivirus software market for the period 2001-2007. Worldwide market sizes and trends are provided for 2002, and a five-year growth forecast for this market is shown for 2003-2007. Vendor competitive analysis, with vendor revenues and market shares of the leading vendors is provided for 2002. Also included are profiles of the top antivirus vendors with company overview, strategic direction and product information.

About IDC

IDC is the premier global market intelligence and advisory firm in the information technology and telecommunications industries. We analyze and predict technology trends so that our clients can make strategic, fact-based decisions on IT purchases and business strategy. Over 700 IDC analysts in 50 countries provide local expertise and insights on technology markets. Business executives and IT managers have relied for 40 years on our advice to make decisions that contribute to the success of their organizations.

IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. Additional information can be found at

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