South African enterprises are reporting a rise in security threats on a daily basis, boosting the demand for advanced network security solutions.


The landing of undersea cables and the resulting increase in broadband penetration are expected to cause a further surge in security threats in the short term. Enhanced regulation is also likely to stimulate demand in previously untapped sectors over the next five years.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the South African network security market earned revenues of over $119,3-million in 2008 and estimates this to increase nearly fourfold by 2015 to reach $471,2-million.
The technologies covered in this analysis are firewall (FW)/Internet protocol security (IPSec) virtual private network (VPN), secure socket layer (SSL) VPN and intrusion detection system (IDS)/intrusion prevention system (IPS).
 "The escalating incidence of complex and malicious security threats is the primary driver for network security solutions in South Africa," says Frost & Sullivan ICT programme manager Birgitta Cederstrom. "An increase in broadband penetration and internet connectivity will further bolster demand in the short-term."
As security threats and breaches become more complex, companies need to invest in more efficient and effective solutions. Increased broadband penetration has been shown to precede a boom in security threats in other countries, necessitating additional investment.
The uptake of advanced security solutions in this market, particularly within small and medium-sized enterprises, has been limited by low awareness of the nature and pervasiveness of threats and the need for extensive protection.
"There is currently no regulatory or industry body that educates the South African market on network security best practices," explains Cederstrom. "In an environment where security skills and awareness of the pervasiveness of threats are low, this significantly hampers the uptake of more advanced solutions."
Vendors and systems integrators should lobby for the development of an appropriate industry body that can encourage greater regulation of network security solutions and advise companies on the implementation of adequate solutions.
"Vendors are encouraged to develop their capacity to gather and monitor information on threat activity from installed appliances globally," says Cederstrom. "The data gathered can also be utilised to disseminate timely information to end-users on the nature of current threats affecting the South African landscape and how best to mitigate them."