The growth rate of emerging technologies cannot be used to estimate the overall growth of the cybersecurity sector, according to analyst IDC.
Earlier this month Cybersecurity Ventures claimed that IT analysts are "unable to keep pace" with the rise in cybersecurity risks and suggested they are underestimating how much the sector will grow by 2020.
Cybersecurity Ventures claimed that overall growth in the security sector will be between 12 and 15 per cent over the next five years, but IDC has predicted a growth rate of 7.4 per cent.
Duncan Brown, research director at IDC, told CRN that looking at the growth of some of the emerging technologies can be misleading when judging the sector as a whole because "it's easy to grow at a higher rate from a lower base".
"The mistake that can be made is to overestimate the monetary side of emerging segments," he said.
"By definition they're emerging, they're tiny, and the vast majority of the market will not exhibit those double-digit growth rates – it's just not possible."
Brown highlighted several areas that he expects to grow at a strong rate over the coming years – security and vulnerability management is expected to grow by 16.4 per cent, and identity and access management by 10.3 per cent – but stressed that the industry should not assume everything will be plain sailing.
"If you were looking at just those markets you'd think that everything is rosy, but if you look at message security, for example, that's declining by 0.4 per cent," he said.
"The danger for the vendor community and for the channel community is to think it's all growing. That would not be a sensible strategy.
"It really depends on which bit of the market you are looking at and you also have to look at the services side, which is much bigger – almost twice the size of the software market."
Brown added that looking purely at growth rates is also a trap into which the channel can fall.
Gartner's predicted growth by 2020 is closer to IDC's than it is to Cybersecurity Ventures', estimating a rate of 8.1 per cent.
Gartner also expects worldwide spending on information security products and services to jump 7.9 per cent year on year in 2016 to $81.6bn (£62.8bn).
Since publication Cybersecurity Ventures CEO Steve Morgan has contacted CRN to clarify the comments in his original report.
He said: "Gartner and IDC are top IT analysts firms who have done an excellent job at covering and forecasting IT security.
"IDC recently estimated that global spending on IoT devices and services will rise from $656 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2020... and that global wearable device shipments to surge from 76.1 million in 2015 to 173.4 million units by 2019. Their estimates are consistent with Intel's claim that by 2020 over 200 billion devices will be connected to the Internet.
In a report last year, ABI forecasted that more than 20 million connected cars will ship with built-in software-based security technology by 2020 - and Spanish telecom provider Telefonica states by 2020, 90% of cars will be online, compared with just 2% in 2012.
Even within the core IT sector, the hacker attack surface will grow by an order of magnitude larger by 2020. According to estimates from Microsoft, the world will need to cyber-defend 50 times more data than it does today.
As our report stated, we expect Gartner and IDC to update their forecasts from 'IT security' to 'cybersecurity' which should close the gap between our predictions and theirs."
Highlander MD Steve Brown tells CRN about the skills he learned on the pitch and brought to the boardroom
Reports suggest Dell is pursuing a straightforward IPO, contradicting existing plans to buy out tracking stock holders
Analysts predict upturn in PC market next year, but 2018 to remain plagued by components shortages
Neil Sawyer claims he has 'never seen so many conversations about a new method of investing in workplace technology'