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Growing Market Upside for Virtual Security Appliances

The enterprise network is in full transformation as new business technology enters the workplace. The decades of status-quo in network architecture is suffering as compelling trends like BYOD, remote access, smart devices, cloud computing, and advanced managed services revamp legacy environments.

This evolution is making the network more permeable and harder to delineate, according to the findings from the latest market study by ABI Research. The implications will be significant for all CIOs and senior IT managers.

Too often, endpoints and data are residing in places outside of the defined network and of the purview of network administrators, seriously undermining the security of important corporate assets.

As a result, network security has been propelled to the top of the agenda. Moreover, the growing complexity of security solutions will increase the demand for guidance and savvy professional services.

The changing network requires a new approach to security and better-defined strategies. IT administrators have to completely rethink network security, not only in light of changing business practices, but also in a digital environment where cyber threats are increasingly more advanced and stealthy.

Finer-grained controls are required at various layers of the enterprise network. Multiple perimeters need to be built tightly around the separate corporate resources: the applications, the users, and the data.

Today's network security solutions calls for a more defensive, in-depth approach focusing on network visibility, management, and flow analysis.

"Virtual appliances are being favored over more traditional hardware appliances, as they provide greater flexibility in deployment and management, the costs are greatly reduced and they are increasingly available as managed and cloud services by third party providers," said Michela Menting, senior analyst at ABI Research.

ABI now estimates that the growth rate for virtual security appliances will reach a 17.7 percent CAGR between 2014 and 2019 -- versus only 3 percent for hardware products.

As next-generation network security appliances come into the market, the various product distinctions are progressively melding together -- i.e. firewalls, IPS/IDS, VPN, UTM, SIEM. Meaning, the features of one solution are now often found in many of the others.

Furthermore, network equipment specialists are already butting heads with security vendors as their markets converge and enterprises demand comprehensive security at the core of newer networking products.

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