An increasing number of businesses will purchase security solutions in the cloud, it has been predicted.
IT analyst Gartner believes increased adoption of cloud-based computing is expected to impact the way security is consumed.
"The popularity and increased adoption of cloud-based security services, albeit at different degrees, will influence the shape of future security marketplaces," said Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner.
"Deployments of virtualisation, and its replacing of traditional physical hardware platforms, are expected to impact the deployment model of future network security capabilities."
He said these are expected to be based increasingly on virtual security appliances.
Gartner believes that by 2015, ten per cent of overall IT security enterprise product capabilities will be delivered in the cloud.
The firm said growth rates for cloud-based security services are set to overtake those of traditional on-premises security equipment over the next three years.
It added that operational cost reduction, flexibility of deployment across multiple IT environments, and fast implementation and product updates are among major factors driving demand.
"The biggest opportunities currently centre on areas such as messaging and web security as well as remote vulnerability assessment," said Mr Contu.
"However, as maturity evolves, a wide variety of security offerings will emerge, such as data loss prevention, encryption and authentication, to be increasingly available in the cloud."
Posted by Alex Boardman