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Hardware appliances will dominate the European security market by 2008. IDC said 80 per cent of spending in the region on security functions such as firewalls and intrusion prevention systems will move onto appliances over the next four years. Ease of deployment and the increase of applications available on specialised hardware platforms are driving the trend over to specialised appliances from software loaded onto general purpose servers.

"Security in a box is a big advantage. Particularly for firms with a lack of expertise, such as SMEs, but bigger organisations all also seeing the benefits" IDC analyst Thomas Raschke told delegates at the IDC Security Conference in London today. "The market will go through the roof."

Although appliances will outpace the security software market, IDC still forecasts that security software spending in Europe will reach $5bn by 2008. Secure content (anti-virus, anti-spam etc.) will be the sweet spot in this segment with IDC predicting annual growth rates of 18 per cent over the next four year. The more mature firewall software market will grow only five per cent a year over the same period, IDC forecasts.

During a presentation opening today's conference Raschke tackled what IDC sees as the biggest myths in IT security. Chief among these were beliefs that either open source is not secure, or bad security is all Microsoft's fault. Both dead wrong, according to Raschke. "Microsoft is moving fast and spending a lot on security. Meanwhile Open source is becoming an alternative option," he said. ®

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