The global messaging security market size is expected to rise at a considerable pace over the forecast period. Increasing popularity of cloud-based security messaging is one of the primary factors escalating the growth of the market. In addition, vendors are pouring significant funds into R&D activities, which is helping the market gain significant momentum over the coming years.
Rising need from various companies for instant messaging solutions that provide seamless security, full audit trails, identity controls, and administrative control is estimated to propel the market over the coming years. A majority of companies are focusing on message encryption as an essential component for security, which in turn is anticipated to work in favor of the market.
Instant messages can be further divided into public messaging, enterprise messaging, and wireless messaging. Burgeoning popularity of virtual appliance and SaaS based solutions is one of the key drivers for the market. Growing complexity of network infrastructure is, however, acting as a bottleneck in the growth of the market. Incorporation of presence awareness technology in messaging software is enabling real-time communication between individuals. This factor is also positively influencing the growth of the market.
Instant messaging has been providing various real-time features for communications including text chat, VoIP conferencing, application sharing, and remote control. Comprehensive instant messaging features also enable timely delivery of business communications and they improve productivity by reducing delays traditionally associated with e-mail, phone, fax, and voice mail, with add-ons such as VoIP conferencing to enhance interactions between employees, customers, and vendors, both person to person and group to group.
Although IM has significant advantages, including easy and instantaneous communications, it also provides a great security risk. Instant messages pose a significant risk to business users, which typically do not have control over each employee’s desktop. As unmanaged use of consumer IM clients proliferates, the potential risk for error increases. IM delivered viruses, IM spam, lack of communication audit trials, and unchecked dissemination of proprietary company information were some of the threats associated with uncontrolled IM use. These factors are expected to challenge the growth of the market.
Public IM products contain no provisions for message logging, confidentiality, or security. IM protocols are usually very difficult to control with existing network security products, as they were designed to allow communications between consumers across the public internet under any possible configuration. Attempts by administrators or security personnel to block IM traffic by closing firewall ports often fail, as most of these applications are “port agile”, often rolling over to ports that must remain open for users to access the internet. These factors, collectively, are inhibiting the growth of the market.
There are several messaging policies governing messaging security, including no-protection, integrity-messages, and privacy-messages. While integrity-messages should be signed, privacy-messages must be both encrypted and signed. Integrity and confidentiality policies contain a list of authorized senders. In addition to signing, a policy may specify encryption of messages. Messages can only be encrypted using a list of intended recipients.
IM is regulated by government and industry regulatory requirements governing content, privacy, and retention. Logging IM content has emerged either as a business need or a statutory requirement across several sectors. For instance, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), NASD, and NYSE require U.S. brokerages to retain and archive all digital communications with customers for periods up to 6 years. SEC also mandates that all communications with external investment banking clients be logged and analyzed for potential security trading violations.
Asia Pacific and Europe are anticipated to be promising destinations for messaging security providers in the global arena owing to supportive government regulations. Some of the prominent companies operating in the global messaging security market are McAfee Inc.; Cisco Systems; Trend Micro Inc.; and Symantec Corp.; Proofpoint Inc.; Websense Inc.; Microsoft Corp.; Sophos; Google Inc.; Panda Security SL; Clearswift Ltd.; and Barracuda Networks Inc.
The market is likely to witness an increase in the number of mergers and acquisitions. While existing vendors are looking at acquisitions as a way of broadening their product portfolio, new entrants are trying to venture into the market through joint ventures. In July 2013, McAfee acquired Stonesoft, a Finland-based security firm. It helped McAfee improve its next generation firewall technology for its customers.
Research Support Specialist, USA