Hacker threats spur firewall growth, says IDC

Hackers, take a bow: Reports of network break-ins helped spur a 143 per cent increase last year in the firewall market - from $US145.6 million to $US353.5 million, according to the latest research from IDC.

"Every major security break-in accelerates the market," said analyst Chris Christiansen. Firewalls are perceived as a key security product for controlling network access, "just like locks on the door", he said.

IDC said it expects the firewall market to grow to $US1.8 billion by 2002. But the market will also change over the next few years. Firewalls are less likely to be distinct products. Instead, they will become a platform to deploy other security products and services, such as virtual private networks and public key infrastructures, Christiansen said.

The top firewall vendor, with 23 per cent market share last year, is CheckPoint Software Technologies, with $US83 million in revenue, IDC said. In the No 2 spot is Cisco, with 19 per cent market share and $US65.7 million in revenue. Next are Axent Technologies, 7 per cent share, $US26 million; and Network Associates, 6 per cent share, $US21 million, according to IDC

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