Global sales of security appliances increased by almost 10 per cent in the second quarter of 2003, according to the latest report from IDC.
The overall market for appliance-based network security products was worth $333m (£202m) in Q2 this year, compared with $303m in the same period last year.
Charles Kolodgy, analyst at IDC, said in a statement: "The growth in intrusion detection appliances shows that many organisations still see the value in monitoring networks."
But he added that this is not surprising because many more intrusion detection software appliances are available now, compared with a year ago.
More significant is the changing vendor landscape as appliance makers jockey for position in the growing market. Cisco leads the way with a 34.3 per cent market share, but despite its dominance it recorded a one per cent fall in revenue in Q2.
In contrast, NetScreen made massive gains and now boasts a 16 per cent share of global sales, compared with just over nine per cent for Q2 2002.
The vendor overtook Nokia's position as number two as the Finnish vendor's sales fell by 15.3 per cent.
IDC said the global growth was generated by western Europe and US markets, which saw 13.5 per cent and 12.4 per cent growth respectively.
According to Graham Smee, director at distributor equIP, security is a top priority for businesses, and the multifunction capabilities of devices "answer all customers' questions".
Smee added that equIP's NetScreen business is experiencing significant growth. "The management capabilities of appliances benefit users and resellers because several security applications can be managed from one place," he said.
Smee added that firewall, virtual private network, intrusion detection and prevention, and antivirus features can all be built into one device, making management easier.
"Resellers that take the time to work with vendors to differentiate themselves will benefit," he said.
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