IBM has displaced Trend Micro as the third-largest vendor in the security software market, according to Gartner, which said it is the first time a broad-portfolio vendor has entered the top three in years.
According to Gartner, worldwide security software revenue totalled $19.9bn (£11.87bn) in 2013 – up 4.9 per cent compared with 2012.
The growth figure was lower than the analyst expected due to commoditisation in key market segments and the declining growth of two of the top-five vendors: market leader Symantec and Trend Micro.
The former's revenue dropped 0.3 per cent to $3.7bn year on year while the latter's fell 5.3 per cent to $1.1bn over the same period.
Trend's sales slump last year saw it drop down to fourth place in the market, allowing IBM – which enjoyed rocketing annual growth of 19.1 per cent to $1.14bn – to snatch a place on the podium.
IBM only narrowly topped Trend Micro: Big Blue's market share stands at 5.7 per cent while Trend's stands close behind at 5.6 per cent.
Gartner said Big Blue is the first vendor which is not a security specialist to enter the top three in "many years".
Symantec still look the lion's share of the market – 18.7 per cent – despite its slight sales dip, and remained far ahead of nearest rival McAfee, whose sales jumped 3.9 per cent year on year to $1.75bn, taking its market share to 8.7 per cent.
Research director Ruggero Contu said the security software market growth was driven in response to the increasing ease with which cybercriminals can launch attacks.
"Overall, the larger trend that emerged in 2013 was that of the democratisation of security threats, driven by the easy availability of malicious software and infrastructure (via the underground economy) that can be used to launch advanced targeted attacks," he said.
"This ubiquity of security threats has led organisations to realise that traditional security approaches have gaps, thereby leading them to rethink and invest more in security technology."
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