IT security vendors turn to growing 3A market

IT security vendors turn to growing 3A market

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At the ISSE information security conference in London this week, IBM-owned Tivoli Systems is proudly trumpeting its leadership of the burgeoning market for authentication, authorization and administration security software in Europe.

Known as 3A, such software accounted for 53.6% of the total IT security software market of $5.1 billion in 2000 and grew at a compound annual growth rate of 26.9% -- much faster than firewalls, antivirus and encryption software. A host of security vendors now claim to be addressing this sector, but it seems those with established systems management expertise are faring better than competitors that have entered the market recently.

What is fueling the growth in this market, according to analysts, is the expansion of networks beyond the enterprise and the resulting need for corporations to secure the migration of sensitive customer, partner and supplier information exchanges. IDC predicts that 3A will make up 67% of total security software sales of $14 billion in 2005.

This trend, coupled with depressed demand for corporate public key infrastructure (PKI) installations, has led e-security vendors that have hitherto concentrated on PKI-related products and services -- such as Entrust, Baltimore and RSA Security -- to buy Web access control technologies in order to augment their product portfolios. PKI is different from access control technology because it tends to deal with the authentication of users, whereas access control deals with what users are allowed to do with applications. While each technology can compliment the other, access control can also provide a cheaper alternative to PKI for creating groups of trusted individuals or organizations, according to Ovum analyst Paola Bassanese.

Frost & Sullivan says Tivoli also leads this market in Europe. The market analyst firm estimates that European sales of Web access control software were $47.5 million in 2000, will be $109.1m in 2001 and will swell to $1.9 billion by 2007.

PKI vendors are therefore keener than ever to be seen addressing the market for 3A products and services. US PKI services provider VeriSign's digital certificate services fit very snugly into the 3A space, according to Gabriel Dusil, the company's marketing director for the European region. PKI software vendors are preaching a similar message. "If [PKI] is overkill, we'll build an access control product for [customers] -- don't fight the market," said Malcolm Etchells, director of European business development for PKI middleware vendor Conclusive Logic.

But another reason PKI vendors have bought into access control technologies is to help them manage the complexity of PKIs -- and Mike Collins, European marketing director at Tivoli, says companies prefer to buy access control products from big companies with experience in selling products to manage corporate IT systems. IDC's market research seems to support this view.

Also among the top five European vendors of 3A are Computer Associates, RSA -- which is cutting back on its commitment to PKI technology -- and Groupe Bull. The smallest, and newest, vendor is Belgian e-security company Ubizen.

"The PKI guys have got their comeuppance -- they've been telling people they can do everything," said Allen Brain, manager of Tivoli Systems' security business in Europe. "They've only really been doing proof of ID with digital signatures. You've got to have multiple strengths of identity ? then the authorization product has got to be sensitive to it."

IDC says encryption software made up just 3.2% of the European security software market in 2000. But encryption sales are set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18.9% up until 2005 -- higher than firewalls (12.4%) and antiviral products (10.8%).


the451 (www.the451.com) is an analyst firm that provides timely, detailed and independent analysis of news in technology, communications and media. To evaluate the service click here.

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