The value of the South African security appliances market grew 0,8% year-on-year in Q3 2013 to reach $12,07-million, according to the EMEA Quarterly Security Appliance Tracker published by international marketing and research agency IDC.

The Tracker also predicts that the value of the market will record a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7,6% over the next five years, increasing from $48,36-million in 2012 to $69,87-million in 2017.

Fortinet, CheckPoint, Juniper, and Cisco retained their leading positions in the market, collectively representing 58,3% of market value share in Q3 2013.

Firewalls and unified threat management (UTM) appliances continue to be the primary components of the network security appliances market.

Respectively, these two appliances generated 21,9% and 45,5% of total market revenue in Q3 2013. Driven by trends for malware detection, visibility of applications, data, and end-point devices associated with network infrastructure, the corresponding revenue generated by content management (16,4%) and intrusion detection and prevention (IDP) appliances (14,3%) is expected to overtake increasingly commoditised firewalls (14,1%) in 2017.

In Q3 2013, 2 690 units of network security appliances were shipped to South Africa. Total shipment volume is expected to increase from 10 691 units in 2012 to 15 888 units in 2017, representing a CAGR of 8,3%.

“Following trends in prior years, 2013 was notable for several mergers and acquisitions, such as the acquisition of Crossbeam by Blue Coat, Stonesoft by McAfee, and most recently in Q3 the acquisition of Sourcefire by Cisco.

“The primary strategies of vendors were to enrich their product portfolios and offer a comprehensive range of network security appliances, such as the addition of UTM and next-generation firewall appliances,” says Jiaqi Sun, research analyst at IDC South Africa.

“Moreover, there was noticeable organic growth among vendors such as Fortinet, which expanded its anti-distributed denial of services (anti-DDoS) appliances, while HP Tipping Point launched its first next-generation firewall products and Huawei differentiated itself by offering appliances for the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environment.”

Enterprises are prioritising network security, but are faced with insufficient funds and lack of in-house expertise. Hence, it is imperative to put in place an organisation-wide threat management process framework to intelligently detect and manage advanced persistent threats (APTs) in house and/or via third parties.

Besides threat detection and mitigation components, network monitoring and reporting by leveraging data analytics applications to compare normal and abnormal network states will be essential components of the intelligent framework.

“With new and complex cyber threats expected to mushroom in the next five years, innovations will surround niche solutions such as signature-less protection across multi-vectors and in near realtime, cloud network security, and appliances designed to protect data based on a combination of inherent vulnerability and potential exploits.

“Future acquisition targets are expected to be niche vendors of technology such as fraud prevention appliances for APTs and DDoS,” says Sun.