Dubai: The enterprise security appliances market in the Middle East continues to expand in response to new threats and customer demands as companies look at evolving security solutions and new secure platforms on which to leverage these solutions, industry experts said.
"The demand is strong in the region for CCTV and access control systems with business and enterprises as sophisticated cyber threats have increased," Kevin Underwood, general manager of electronic systems solutions for G4S, UAE, told Gulf News.
He said the advent of the "security appliance" is rooted in organisations' interest in benefiting from a "hardened" appliance — implying it is less vulnerable to attacks, and to realise additional benefits such as deploying multiple solutions on the same appliance, working with the same vendor across multiple solutions, or reducing total cost of ownership.
Faysal Ayoubi, a systems and infrastructure solutions research analyst at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, told Gulf News that growing demand is driving factory revenues higher. The region registered a 10.2 per cent year-on-year rise in sales to $230.7 million last year.
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"Sophisticated cyber threats targeting businesses have increased, and as a result the need for security has become a priority for many executives who wish to protect their networks against such attacks," he said.
He said the security appliance market continues to expand to fulfil growing customer demand for advanced security protection solutions. "End users tend to go for all-in-one security platforms that are easy to implement and have low operating costs, and UTM appliances grew in direct response to these demands," Ayoubi said
Popular with business and enterprise, UTM is a category of security appliances that integrates a range of security features into a single appliance. UTM appliances combine firewall, gateway anti-virus, and intrusion detection system (IDS) or intrusion prevention capabilities into a single platform. UTM is designed to protect users from blended threats while reducing complexity.
"UTM, firewall, and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) appliances often become more favoured by end-users as they subsume the intrusion detection function, causing it to lose market share and become viewed as old technology," Ayoubi said. To date, Underwood said, most enterprises have deployed these applications as point solutions: standalone servers or appliances dedicated to individual security applications. However, the industry is already observing changes in the ways enterprises install and manage their security environments.
According to Jeff Wilson, principal analyst for security at Infonetics Research, global spending on network security appliances and software is expected to grow eight per cent this year compared to three per cent last year.
He said the consumerisation of smartphones and the proliferation of connected devices 24/7 to the internet are driving companies to reassess how critical infrastructure in headquarters, branch offices, remote offices and data centres is protected from malware
Underwood said, "The new projects coming up in Abu Dhabi are expected to fuel our revenues to Dh50 million this year compared to Dh30 million last year. The market has slowed down during recession as many of the organisations were not willing to invest in security solutions. But the industry is expected to grow exponentially in the next couple of years."
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