Security has been one of the few growing areas of the networking market over the past two years owing to a combination of fear factors including increased global instability, paranoia and real threats.
According to the latest study from Infonetics Research, users are rapidly waking up to the need for enhanced network security to counter these dangers and are looking into a wide variety of offerings.
The study warned that, while many people have been watching the security appliance market with great interest, they often overlook the extent to which security is actually deployed through routers and switches.
Jeff Wilson, principal analyst at Infonetics Research, and lead analyst of the study, said: "Just as distributed internet connectivity and the need for companies of all sizes to secure their networks drove the integration of multiple security technologies into single products, these same factors also drove network product manufacturers to integrate security into routers and switches."
Wireless local area networks, handheld devices, the internet connection boundary, and extranet connections were found by the report to represent the top areas of opportunity in the security market.
The study further indicated that secure routers and integrated appliances are the preferred network security devices of about the same percentage of respondents, roughly two-thirds each, rising slightly to 68 per cent in 2006.
Although the use of switches with integrated security is in its early stages, Infonetics expects this practice to grow significantly between now and 2006, from about a third to 44 per cent.
Most respondents indicated that they are looking to buy integrated appliances that have between 100MB and 1GB aggregate performance.
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