Spending on anti-virus software leaps 31% in 2002

According to IDC, the anti-virus software market is booming, as high profile attacks, such as Blaster, SoBig and Nachi continue to take their toll.

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By  Greg Wilson Published  September 3, 2003

The anti-virus (AV) software market is booming, as high profile attacks, such as Blaster, SoBig and Nachi continue to take their toll. According to statistics from IDC, anti-virus software spending leapt a massive 31% between 2001 and 2002.

Spending on AV software reached US$2.2 billion in 2002, and IDC predicts it will double by 2007.

“The recent onslaught of viruses and worms such as Blaster, Nachi, and Sobig highlight the need for anti-virus products and, more importantly, the need to update services,” comments Brian Burke, research manager for IDC's security products service.

“While corporate customers have long realised that anti-virus software is only as good as its last update, consumers and small business customers are realising the necessity of subscription-based updates,” he adds.

The consumer segment led market spending, surpassing corporate expenditure by 8.5%. Increased consumer awareness and a rise in monthly subscription renewals for virus protection have driven growth in consumer spending, says IDC.

“Consumers and small businesses are finally recognising the fact that anti-virus software is more of a service than a product,” says Chris Christiansen, vice president for IDC's security products service.

“Furthermore the rapid infection by these worm and virus attacks means that slow responses will cripple most customer environments because they will not be able to get ahead of the initial infection and the far more serious re-infections,” he adds.

Viruses and worms continue to be the most common threat facing corporations. A recent IDC survey of 325 firms across the US revealed that 82% of respondents have experienced attacks. Over 30% of these organisations reported that the attack was detected but not repelled immediately.

This grim statistic indicates that even though an attack is detected, it can still cause harm if the offending material is not removed.

However, just as virus and worm detection technologies become more sophisticated, so do the virus writers. Moreover, worms and viruses are increasingly using Spam techniques — not just the exploitation of unprotected mail relays to maximise spread, but also the use of social engineering to trick victims into opening malicious files. IDC also believes that new attacks could derive revenue from illegal proliferation of an authorised spam server.

To combat virus and worm attacks many organizations are adopting a ‘layered security’ approach that combines solutions such as desktop AV, server and gateway AV, content filtering, and proactive techniques such as behaviour analysis and heuristics. IDC believes traditional signature-based AV technologies and behaviour-based analysis technologies will increasingly be used together, allowing for a greater degree of accuracy in detecting known and unknown threats.

Spending on AV software reached US$2.2 billion, and IDC predicts it will double by 2007.

“The recent onslaught of viruses and worms such as Blaster, Nachi, and Sobig highlight the need for anti-virus products and, more importantly, the need to update services,” comments Brian Burke, research manager for IDC's security products service.

“While corporate customers have long realised that anti-virus software is only as good as its last update, consumers and small business customers are realising the necessity of subscription-based updates,” he adds.

Although both corporate and consumer spending on AV software increased in 2002, the consumer market lead the way. Consumer spending surpassed corporate expenditure by 8.5%. Increased consumer awareness and a subsequent rise in monthly subscription renewals for virus protection have driven growth in consumer spending, says IDC.

“Consumers and small businesses are finally recognising the fact that anti-virus software is more of a service than a product,” says Chris Christiansen, vice president for IDC's security products service.

“Furthermore the rapid infection by these worm and virus attacks means that slow responses will cripple most customer environments because they will not be able to get ahead of the initial infection and the far more serious re-infections,” he adds.

Viruses and worms continue to be, by a wide margin, the most common threat facing corporations today. A recent IDC survey of 325 firms across the US revealed that 82% of respondents have experienced attacks. Over 30% of these organisations reported that the attack was detected but not repelled immediately. This grim statistic indicates that even though an attack is detected, it can still cause harm if the offending material is not removed.

However, just as virus and worm detection technologies become more sophisticated, so do the virus writers. Moreover, worms and viruses are increasingly using Spam techniques — not just the exploitation of unprotected mail relays to maximise spread, but also the use of social engineering to trick victims into opening malicious files.

IDC also predicts that new attacks could derive revenue from illegal proliferation of an authorised spam server.

To combat virus and worm attacks many organizations are adopting a ‘layered security’ approach that combines solutions such as desktop AV, server and gateway AV, content filtering, and proactive techniques such as behaviour analysis and heuristics.

According to IDC, traditional signature-based AV technologies and behaviour-based analysis technologies will increasingly be used together, allowing for a greater degree of accuracy in detecting known and unknown threats.

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