Noting that the IPS market is still relatively small, Infonetics predicted it will take off in the near future, jumping from about $800 million in 2009 to more than $1.2 billion in 2014.
With Cisco in the lead, the firm will likely butt heads in the IPS market with Hewlett-Packard, which is increasingly becoming Cisco's arch rival. HP acquired a strong intrusion prevention software system recently when it acquired 3C, whose Tipping Point products have enjoyed a strong presence in the market segment.
"Cisco is without a doubt the leader in the intrusion prevention system market," said Jeff Wilson, Infonetics' principal analyst for security, in a statement. "In a very short time, Cisco went from being severely underestimated as an IPS player to leading IPS revenue share and brand awareness."
Wilson said Tipping Point, McAfee, IBM ISS, and Sourcefire will likely offer the most vigorous competition to Cisco in the IPS market. "But," Wilson added, "we expect Cisco to maintain the lead in market share and brand awareness as long as they remain interested in offering pure IPS solutions."
Infonetics indicated the IPS market is still wide open, because the respondents in its recent IPS survey said they weren't sure whose IPS products they will acquire in the future. Infonetics said Cisco was cited by 38% of its survey respondents who were asked to cite the top three IPS product manufacturers.
Additional IPS providers mentioned as players in the market included Check Point, Enterasys, Juniper, and Symantec.