Network Security Finds Increased Acceptance Among SMBs in India

The network security market for India small and medium businesses (SMBs, companies with less than 999 employees) clearly shows a positive growth trend in the immediate future. SMBs are estimated to have spent nearly $45 million in 2012 on Network Security Appliances including Unified Threat Management (UTM), network firewalls and VPN solutions. AMI’s research into India’s network security market spending found that India SMBs are major contributors. Their current spending share in this market is not far behind that of large enterprises.

The demand for IT security is the major growth driver in the network security market for India SMBs. Moreover, emerging wireless LAN-based technologies such as 3G, wimax, and Wi-Fi hotspots enhance the need for securing the data residing on these networks. “The increase in usage of various forms of broadband facilitating greater usage of business traffic through web and mobile services has augmented the need for network security among India SMBs”, noted Somnath Das, Manager-Research at AMI. “It is also important to mention that larger SMBs are now transmitting more critical applications over their networks for greater availability throughout their organization”.

Another key trend is the shift towards convergence; this has led to strong adoption of network security solutions and has also enhanced the security appliances market. AMI has done extensive research on the appliance market, especially for Unified Threat Management. This area is a main component of the security appliances market and promises rich future possibilities. By adopting UTM a typical SMB can obtain enterprise level network protection and rapidly adapt itself to reduce the adverse effects of newly-evolving threats emanating from sources such as Web 2.0, VoIP, streaming media, IM, P2P, etc. Furthermore, UTM enjoys a much lower TCO and is a more affordable approach for SMBs. Currently, India SMBs contribute nearly one-third of the UTM market revenue of all India businesses. “A key feature of the UTM market has been its healthy growth rate in the last 3 years remaining unaffected by the uncertain economic climate. It is expected that the India SMB UTM market will continue to gain traction in the next two to three years with double-digit annual growth rates predicted”, stated Das.

“India SMBs are likely to be more attracted by a versatile and multi-functional “all-in-one-box” type of security application including features such as end-point security, secure web and mail gateway. These businesses prefer easier and hassle-free management of security devices”, adds Das. A key reason that India SMBs prefer this type of technology is their lack of internal IT management infrastructure. Just over a quarter of India SMBs employ a full-time, dedicated internal IT professional.

The study also provides critical insights into vendor activities focused on India SMBs within the network security appliance space. Almost all vendors are competing to reach this lucrative market segment through innovative offerings, introducing combinations of models with multiple features, and lower prices. Even vendors who are strongly established in the enterprise segment have introduced products aimed at customers with less than 25 users. These factors have greatly enhanced the options for SMBs in the network security appliances arena. The market has also witnessed the emergence of local players offering products at par with global standards. These vendors have built their strength in the SMB space through strong research and development and continuous market innovations.

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