Next-generation firewall (NGFW) usage is beginning to take off among UK firms, research from reseller Teneo indicates.
According to Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Firewalls – which was published last month – less than five per cent of internet connections are currently secured by NGFWs.
The research house predicts this will rise to 35 per cent by the end of 2014, with 60 per cent of new purchases being NGFWs by that time.
Meanwhile, research commissioned by Teneo has also suggested that NGFW usage is ramping up fast among UK firms. Conducted in October and November 2011, the poll collated responses from 37 senior IT managers and directors of UK firms with a £20m-plus turnover.
Some 16 per cent of those questioned said they are now using NGFWs, with a further 24 per cent looking to adopt them over the next 12 months.
However, this means most UK organisations are still currently using first-generation "stateful inspection" firewalls. Teneo claimed those who do not make the jump to application-aware NGFWs could struggle to effectively manage threats from internet applications.
More than one in three (35 per cent) said they use these first-generation firewalls, with 24 per cent using UTM appliances and a further 24 per cent relying on their network/email service provider to also provide managed security services.
Lauren Fortune, head of marketing at Teneo, said: "The survey makes it clear that the majority of organisations are struggling on with older, first-generation firewalls that do not provide any visibility or control in terms of employee desktop usage or specific applications.
"Many organisations then add on extra appliances to fill in the gaps in their network security."
Gartner's Magic Quadrant had only two "leaders" – established outfit Check Point and new kid on the block Palo Alto, which bills itself as an NGFW pioneer.
The analyst estimates that 2011 firewall revenue will rise to $6.3bn (£4bn), up from $5.9bn in 2010 and $5.4bn in 2009.
"In 2010 and 2011, Gartner saw market pressures accelerate the demand and available offerings for NGFW platforms that provide the capability to detect and block sophisticated attacks, as well as enforce granular security policy at the application (versus port and protocol) level," Gartner stated in its report.
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