IDC: Canadian security market will reach $1B

The Canadian IT security market is set to enjoy double-digit growth over the next five years, according to a IDC Canada forecast.

IDC valued Canada’s IT security sector at over $1 billion in 2006, which represents a 14 per cent increase from 2005.  The research firm projects growth to continue to climb at a double-digit rate, reaching an overall value of $2 billion in 2011.

“Canadian organizations continue to adopt IT security solutions, including products and services, as they attempt to come to grips with the numerous threats and security issues they face on a daily basis,” Sebastien Ruest, vice- president for IDC Canada Services Research, said in the report. IDC Canada could not be reached at press time.

But another market forecaster, London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group, doesn’t share the same strong optimism.

James Quinn, senior research analyst at London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group, said that while the Canadian IT security market is on the rise, the IDC projections overestimated the growth.

“That is a high projection,” Quinn said. “Typically we don’t look at one market versus another, so it’s difficult for us to give a breakdown in terms of Canada versus the U.S., but this forecast seems awfully high in terms of my expectations.”

Quinn said that when discussing IT security in Canada, it is small businesses that drive the market.

“IT security is one of those issues that get a lot of lip service,” Quinn said. “But when it comes down to actual investments, a lot of organizations, particularly small organizations, are not ready to make the investment.  And when you look at the Canadian marketplace, it’s almost universally defined by smaller enterprises.”

Francis Ho, executive officer at the Federation of Security Professionals in Toronto, called IDC’s double-digit growth forecast “a little optimistic,” but did said the market would see strong growth based on expanding industry regulations.

“My peers are seeing the increase in spending, but a lot of it tends to be reactive in nature,” Ho said. “For example, the PCI standards in the payment industry PCI standards are forcing companies to spend, because they’re regulating how you set up your security infrastructure for payment cards.”

Quinn agreed though, one increasing trend that will get companies to invest in strong IT security is phishing and farming techniques.

“Over the last couple years, these threats have become far more targeted, so it’s no longer about causing a nuisance or about raising the visibility of some hacker, but instead, it’s now done for financial gain,” Quinn said.  “This is a trend that is definitely going to continue to be problematic for all organizations and will lead to an increase in spending.”

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