CIO Symmetry

Sep 14 2010   3:38PM GMT

The new data security software landscape

Scot Petersen Scot Petersen Profile: Scot Petersen

The number of niche data security software solutions providers is getting smaller, and so are the choices for IT managers.

HP’s announcement this week to acquire ArcSight is its second security acquisition in the last month and the latest in a wave of bigger technology and computer companies gobbling up smaller players in the data security software and services market. HP followed buying Fortify, which specializes in secure development and security testing, with ArcSight, which focuses on compliance and risk management.

Last month, Intel agreed to acquire McAfee while Symantec — already the leader in data security software and services — has bought up PGP, GuardianEdge and VeriSign’s authentication services business in the past month. IBM just came out with new software from its acquisition of Guardium last year.

On the one hand, this market consolidation by these IT leaders will enable more of a one-stop shop for security products, and likely better integration that will enable a holistic solution.

However, many midmarket firms and small businesses that use Fortify, ArcSight or Guardium products may not already be current HP or IBM customers, certainly not for security products, and will miss the ability to build the niche security solution that fits into their environments.

It’s surprising that it has taken so many years for large IT and computer vendors to see the value of security. But now that it has, it could mean more challenges and less opportunity for midmarket security buyers.

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