The top five security software vendors accounted for less than half of the market in 2010, down from 60% in 2006 according to new research from Gartner.
Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro, IBM and EMC were the top five vendors by market share in 2010, accounting for $7.26 billion in revenue between them, just 44% of the security software market.
Gartner analyst Ruggero Contu said that even the market’s high level of M&A activity had not prevented it from becoming fragmented.
"Market expansion and innovation are driven partly as a result of new start-up players entering the market," Contu said. "New players bring innovative technology solutions to cater for end-user requirements that in turn are created as a result of the new threats, often introduced by cybercriminals taking advantage of new vulnerabilities created by changes to IT ecosystems."
The report noted that start-ups were often able to find a specific security niche and take market share away from the larger vendors whose product may cover a broader sweep of security issues.
"The security market continues to provide good growth opportunities for both established players and start-up companies, and the market landscape remains fairly dynamic with many competitors," Contu said. "New, stand-alone niche tools will continue to be purchased to solve new rising threats and vulnerabilities that incumbent players haven’t been able to address."