Worldwide security software revenue totaled $17.7 billion in 2011, a 7.5 percent increase from 2010 revenue of $16.4 billion, according to Gartner. Small or midsize business (SMB) demand, advanced persistent threats and compliance were cited as main drivers.

"Growth in the 2011 security market reflects a continuation in demand for consumer and enterprise security tools," said Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner. "However, despite overall solid growth, some regions did not experience the high-double-digit growth of emerging Asia/Pacific and Eurasia, which has been driven by 'greenfield' projects and buoyant economies. Western Europe remained the laggard because of the region's uncertain economic situation."

The security software market continued to show resilience at a time of IT budget restrictions and despite Intel writing down considerable revenue following its McAfee acquisition, which prevented the market from reaching double-digit growth. Intel acquired McAfee at the end of February last year, and the company's significant decline in revenue in 2011 was due to the fact that, as a result of normal purchase accounting rules, Intel was required to write down approximately 30 percent of McAfee's $1.4 billion of deferred revenue.

Retaining its market share lead in both the consumer and enterprise security space, Symantec recorded an annual growth rate of 17 percent, reaching $3.7 billion in revenue for 2011, which gives them a 20.6 percent share of the market. Gartner noted Symantec’s continued expansion beyond the traditional endpoint security market by leveraging its competency and mind share in the storage/data backup space and by putting a new focus on securing data, both at rest and in motion, through its data loss prevention (DLP) and encryption products.

Following Symantec at the top of the industry was McAfee and Trend Micro, bringing in $1.23 billion and $1.21 billion, respectively. Rounding out the top five with less than $1 billion in revenue are IBM ($930 million) and EMC ($716 million).

Gartner analysts said McAfee has a strong brand and market presence, which originates from its primary focus and specialization on security, in both the consumer and enterprise markets. The report also pointed to Trend Micro, noting that “during 2011, Trend Micro grew 11 percent, growth that unlike that of its main market competitors, was organic rather than from acquisitions.”

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