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Nearly 52 percent of solution providers project that the security market will grow at an increased rate over the next 12 to 18 months, while nearly 41 percent said the growth rate will remain steady. Only 3 percent said they expect the growth rate to cool.
A number of factors are spurring sales of high-end solutions, said solution providers, including customers' desire to avoid data breaches and malware attacks, and regulatory compliance requirements. Solution providers said the fear of data loss and breaches is justifiable, putting it at the top of the list of biggest security threats currently facing customers. Channel partners named sales of data loss prevention as their fastest-growing technology area and as their No. 2 most profitable technology. Following closely on the list of top threats is malware such as Trojans, keyloggers and botnets, with internal threats rounding out the top three.
Another area where solution providers see big opportunity is in the managed security services space. Roughly 44 percent of respondents have seen managed security services growth between 5 percent and 24 percent in the past 12 months, according to the survey. Solution providers named managed security services and Software-as-a-Service as the top two services they plan to add within the next 18 months. VPN services topped the list of managed/hosted security offerings.
As far as vendors, solution providers chose Microsoft Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Symantec Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and SonicWall Inc. as their top five most strategic partners. Meanwhile, over 88 percent of solution providers said it's more important for security professionals to be knowledgeable in multiple platforms now than it was two years ago.