The worldwide security software market will reach $14.5 billion in 2009, an eight per cent increase from 2008, according to Gartner. In 2008, it grew at 19 percent and Gartner anticipates the market to grow 13 percent in 2010 as revenue will total $16.3 billion.

"Although the security software market is affected by the economic downturn, the growth will continue to be strong in 2009 as security remains a critical area where drastic cuts cannot be afforded," said Ruggero Contu, principal research analyst, Gartner.

"In the medium term, the growth opportunities will come from SaaS, appliance-based offering and SMBs, which are in security catch-up mode," he added.

In 2009, consumer security will remain the largest segment in terms of total software revenue, representing 25 percent of the total market. Gartner estimates it will account for $3.6 billion, growing 4 per cent in 2009. The enterprise security software market formed by segments such as endpoint protection platform, email security boundary and user provisioning is predicted to account for $10.9 billion, reaching 9 percent growth in 2009.

"The security software market in 2008 was characterised by consolidation. This is a sector where further consolidation is expected," said Contu. "End-users are moving to better-integrated multi-products, particularly in endpoint security, identity and access management. Vendors offering integration in an established and trusted technology partnership will be best-placed for success, as buyers prefer to deal with vendors that trust each other's software and practices," he summed up.