According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Security Appliance Tracker,both factory revenue and unit shipments grew in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12) compared to the previous year. Worldwide factory revenue was up 5,7% year over year to just over $2-billion, as shipments increased 1% to 499 022 units. In the previous quarter, factory revenue growth was 6.6% and unit growth was 5,8% compared to the second quarter of 2011.

Geographically, revenue grew fastest in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) with a 13,3% year-over-year increase. Western Europe continued to see sluggish growth, increasing just 0,5% year over year. Japan had the highest unit growth year over year of 8.3%, followed closely by combined Central and Eastern Europe and Middle East, and Africa at 7,9%. The US recorded 4,6% revenue growth on a unit decrease of 1,2% versus 3Q11, indicating some softness in lower price bands and that revenue growth was driven by larger enterprises and service providers.

“Overall, macroeconomic conditions have been questionable at best. While the security market remains more resilient than others, there was a definite slow-down in growth rates in the third quarter,” says John Grady, research manager: security products at IDC. “That being said, the evolving threat landscape continues to drive spending on security products as organisations battle to keep their infrastructures secure and their data protected.”

The combined shares of the top five global vendors represented 48.5% of the market in 3Q12. Cisco continues to lead the overall security appliance market with 16.2% share in factory revenue for the third quarter, but this was down from 17,3% in the prior year period. Check Point held the number two spot with 12,8% share for the quarter as revenue increased 12,8% compared to the third quarter of 2011. Fortinet saw the largest growth among the top five vendors at 17,2%.

The share of others increased primarily due to strong quarters from Palo Alto Networks and Sourcefire.

At the functional market level, the Unified Threat Management (UTM) segment saw the largest year-over-year revenue growth at 24,3% and accounted for 33,3% of security appliance revenues in 3Q12, as multi-function appliances continue to drive growth in the overall market. The Firewall/VPN market represented 26.7% of security appliance revenues thanks to 7.3% year-over-year growth due primarily to Cisco and Juniper. The IPS and VPN segments were the only markets to show revenue declines compared to 3Q11.