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Global spending on firewall and virtual private network (VPN) technology will double over the next three years to reach almost $6bn in 2007.

According to a study by market analysts Datamonitor, increased publicity of threats and security breaches, recent worms and viruses have highlighted the deficiencies in enterprise's current security infrastructures. This in turn has spurred the drive to beef up perimeter defences by investing in firewall and VPN technologies.

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) VPNs will be the fastest growing segment of the market. Datamonitor's report Firewall and VPN solutions forecasts that home working and the push for mobility/anywhere-anytime access for workers will see enterprise investment in Secure Socket Layer (SSL) VPNs grow 74 per cent a year between 2003-2007. Datamonitor estimates that the SSL VPN market will rise from $120m in 2003 to just over $1bn in 2007.

"The recent acquisitions in this market such as Neoteris by Netscreen, which in turn has been acquired by Juniper Networks, and Safe Web by Symantec, show the aggressive positioning of vendors to gain market share in the high-growth SSL VPN market and such strategies will no doubt continue in the future," Datamonitor notes.

Datamonitor expects investment in security solutions by the government, utilities and pharmaceutical sectors to show the most rapid rise. Government moves to extend services over the Internet will drive up security spending in that vertical market. Utilities will be spending more on security to better defend themselves against hostile attacks, according to Datamonitor.

Latin America, followed by Asia Pacific, will be the fastest growing security markets over the next three years.

But North America will remain the largest market security with spending expected to reach $2.6bn in the region by 2007, according to Datamonitor. ®

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