Global sales of network security appliances and related software slid 12 per cent in Q1 2014 to $1.54bn (£0.92bn), according to an update from Infonetics Research.
Jeff Wilson, principal analyst for security at Infonetics, said the market had finished 2013 well but then registered a decline in the new-year quarter although year over year the market is up 1.9 per cent.
"Vendors' long-term success will have a lot to do with how they deliver their core security technology, as standalone products, integrated products, and hosted or SaaS, and how they tie these together with a common threat, cloud, common policy and management interface, and common reporting tools," Wilson said.
"Security buyers are becoming quite sceptical and intelligent. They know that until their security platform shares a common threat, policy, and reporting structure, it will have coverage gaps that can be exploited."
Suppliers able to deliver core security technology in a flexible way will be able to side-step the shifts in popularity between standalone and integrated kit versus on-premise and hosted deployments. And virtualisation as well as network function virtualisation would play a role in customer choice, he suggested.
Integrated offerings are gaining share while legacy firewall software and intrusion prevention systems are stalling, Wilson indicated.
Of the five leading vendors – Check Point, Cisco, Fortinet, Juniper and Palo Alto Networks – only Palo Alto expanded sales in Q1.
Infonetics' Q1 report tracks integrated security appliances, secure routers, SSL VPN gateways, VPN and firewall software, and anti-intrusion systems.
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