Cyber-crime commercialisation spawning malware epidemic

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Cyber-crime commercialisation spawning malware epidemic

IT security threats becoming ever more serious, warns report.

The commercialisation of cyber-crime is spurring malware writing activity and will lead to progressively more serious IT security threats, new research warns.

Market estimates from Frost & Sullivan suggest that the global market for antivirus technologies reached US$4.6bn in 2006, up 17.1 percent from $4bn in the previous year.

The market is then expected to grow at a 10.9 per cent compound annual growth rate from 2006 to 2013, reaching US$9.69bn by 2013.

Frost & Sullivan said that the expenditure is being driven in the consumer space by the threats of identity theft and stolen passwords.

For corporates, the loss of intellectual property and customer data, coupled with the threat of taking down websites or revealing sensitive information, are the main priorities.

"Cyber-crime is now among the most important revenue sectors for global organised crime," said Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Katie Gotzen.

"Malware attacks today are in the hands of professional criminals whose goal is to create revenue. This explains why attacks today are targeted."

Gotzen added that end-user awareness of the increased threat level is driving the anti-malware market. As a result the increased number and severity of malware attacks have created significant growth opportunities in the anti-malware industry.

This has led to intensified competition in the consumer and enterprise segments.

"In the consumer market, Microsoft's entry has driven prices down and has led the traditional heavyweights to rethink their strategies," explained Gotzen.

"In the enterprise space, non-security players are developing a presence in the market. Best-of-breed specialisation, diversification or carving out a niche are valid strategies in today's enterprise anti-malware market."

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