The five largest IT security software vendors – Symantec, Intel, IBM, Trend Micro and EMC – are losing market share hand over fist to the chasing pack, Gartner's latest figures suggest.
The leading quintet saw their collective sales sag 4.2 per cent in 2015, with Symantec and Intel Security (formerly McAfee) among the worst hit.
With the total global IT security software market growing 3.7 per cent to $22.1bn (£16.6bn) last year, the top five's collective share fell 3.1 percentage points to 37.6 per cent.
In contrast, the rest of the market grew 9.2 per cent.
"The below-market growth seen by these large vendors with complex product portfolios is in contrast to the market growth and disruption being introduced by smaller, more specialised security software vendors," said Sid Deshpande, principal research analyst at Gartner.
The top two, Symantec and Intel, were badly bruised by a collective seven per cent decline in their core consumer and end-point protection platform (EPP) categories.
Both rely on EPP and consumer for about three quarters of their sales. This fuelled a 6.2 per cent in Symantec's fall overall security software sales to $3.4bn, with Intel – which is rumoured to be mulling a sale of its security business – suffering a 4.1 per cent drop to $1.8bn.
Trend Micro was also badly hit. The fourth-placed outfit saw its security software sales wilt 5.9 per cent to $990m, according to Gartner.
Of the top five vendors, only IBM showed growth as its security software sales rose a modest 2.5 per cent.
Big Blue benefited from having a large stake in the security information and event management segment, which Gartner flagged up as the fastest-growing part of the market in 2015, with 15.8 per cent growth.
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