The anti-virus software market segment is expected to grow 6.8% year-on-year, accounting for 11.3% of the total enterprise security market in 2012, according to a Canalys forecast. Anti-virus software continues to drive revenue for resellers because it is the first step that most small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) take to secure their infrastructure.
Smaller vendors, such as Kaspersky Lab, Panda Security, F-Secure, ESAT, and AVG, are displacing the larger vendors like Symantec, McAfee, and Trend Micro in supplying SMBs with anti-virus software.
In addition, the use of free anti-virus software is on the rise among SMBs, and this will further disrupt the security market, especially in the micro-business segment, Canalys predicts.
The AV market has already become highly commoditized, and free offerings will continue to drive down costs and complexity at the lower end of the market. Among respondents to a recent Canalys poll of 179 channel partners, 40% indicated that more than 20% of their SMB customers used free anti-virus software.
Canalys also predicts that security as a service will attract more SMB customers. As they drive partners toward specialist roles, security vendors will have more flexibility to develop new delivery models. From the SMB side, perceived cost savings will be the primary driver to switch to outsourced security.