Malware volume has tripled in 4 years, warns security firm

Fortinet leads unified threat management market, with Check Point and Cisco close behind

The volume of malware, including strains targeting enterprise networks, is three times greater today than it was four years ago, according to security firm Fortinet's  (Nasdaq: FTNT) 2013 Cybercrime Report.

This increase puts more strain on IT managers to stop the malware before it infects the corporate network and steals valuable confidential data.

"The threat vectors are increasing in terms of the different ways the attackers are launching attacks to compromise systems. There are simply more ways to try and break in being created today," Patrick Bedwell, Fortinet's vice president of products, told FierceEnterpriseCommunications.

Fortinet recommends that businesses develop a layered approach to security that involves an intrusion prevention system (IPS), botnet and application control, web filtering and antispam and antivirus software. In addition, firms should train employees in security best practices and enforce security policy.

Research firm Frost & Sullivan cited Fortinet as the market leader in providing enterprises with unified threat management (UTM) products that consolidate multi-point network security technologies, such as IPS and application control, into a single network appliance.

"Part of the value of a UTM device is that you have integrated technologies so that you have, instead of stand-alone devices... a single device. All of the policies are being enforced by a single device, and as important as centralized policies, having centralized management so IT managers can see everything from a single console," Bedwell explained.

According to the latest figures from Frost & Sullivan, Fortinet captured 20.5 percent of the global UTM market in 2011, followed by Check Point (Nasdaq: CHKP) with 14.7 percent, Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) with 13.7 percent, Dell's (Nasdaq: DELL) SonicWall with 13.4 percent and Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) with 12.1 percent of the market.

Frost & Sullivan predicted the UTM market would grow at a rate of 17.3 percent from 2011 to 2016. The research firm said UTM products are popular with enterprises with many remote location or branch offices as well as small and medium-sized businesses. However, larger enterprises require higher performance and reliability than many UTM products can provide, it noted.

The research firm expects a shift toward virtual UTM devices to defend enterprises' virtual computing environments, such as the cloud.

For more:
- check out the Fortinet 2013 Crime Report (reg. req.)
- read Frost & Sullivan's Global UTM Market Analysis (reg. req.)

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