SaaS to Eclipse Hardware by 2026


Demand for software-as-a-service (SaaS)- and virtual-based network security is anticipated to represent 51 percent of the $33 B total Network Security market revenue in 2026, according to a recently published report from Dell’Oro Group.

“Since the arrival of the first network security appliances in the 1980s, the Network Security market has been dominated by an assortment of purpose-built boxes, but we see a seismic shift taking place,” said Mauricio Sanchez, Research Director, Network Security at Dell’Oro Group. “Between enterprises embracing cloud applications and hybrid work as the new normal, we see them preferring SaaS- and virtual-based network security solutions that serve these use cases better. This is not to say that we see hardware security appliances disappearing, but they no longer represent the vanguard of network security they once were,” added Sanchez.

The Network Security 5-Year Forecast Report highlights:

  • SaaS- and virtual-based web application firewalls (WAFs), a vital capability of cloud workload security solutions, are anticipated to experience a compounded annual growth (CAGR) of 25 percent from 2021 to 2026. Driving the strong growth is the increased number of enterprise applications being made accessible on the Internet to both friends (employees, partners) and foe (hackers).
  • SaaS-based secure web gateways (SWGs), fundamental in the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture, are forecasted to grow at 23 percent CAGR from 2021 to 2026 as hybrid work becomes more commonplace.
  • Physical firewall appliance revenue, which was over 75 percent of total hardware-based network security revenue in 2020, is expected to only grow at 7 percent CAGR from 2021 to 2026.