Citizens’ demand for cybersecurity software has fallen

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The Russian market of products for user cybersecurity for the year decreased by 60% in terms of the number of license sales and about the same in terms of money. The only company whose solutions have grown in demand is the Romanian Bitdefender. Experts attribute this to the departure of key Western vendors and the low base effect, while the market decline as a whole is due to a reduction in the purchasing power of Russians and an increase in the installation of pirated copies of Windows, whose users formed the main demand for official antiviruses.

“Kommersant” got acquainted with the data of a large analytical company (does not officially work in the Russian Federation, but continues to supply information to market participants) on sales of custom software (software) for cybersecurity (antiviruses and network security solutions Internet Security and Total Security). They follow that from January to May, sales of cybersecurity software in the consumer segment decreased by 61%, to 195,000 licenses. In money terms, sales also fell by 61%, to 268 million rubles.

The share of the market leader, Kaspersky Lab, increased to 94% in unit terms (from 80% a year earlier), but the total number of licenses sold by the company decreased by 54%. The Slovak ESET showed a drop in sales in units and money by almost 100%, and the Russian Dr.Web (“Doctor Web”) – by 14% and 25%, respectively. Czech Avast reduced sales by 92% in units and by 83% in money terms. ESET and Avast officially left the Russian market after the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine.

At the same time, growth by 1.5 times in unit and monetary terms was shown by Bitdefender, a division of the Romanian SoftWin, a developer of antiviruses, firewalls and spam filters. The main demand for the company’s products came in the spring of 2023 (April-May). Meanwhile, Bitdefender developers also reported last year that they were suspending operations in Russia.

Kaspersky Lab itself claims that in the first five months of 2023, sales of products for private users increased by more than 10% year-on-year: “This is due to import substitution, as well as our revision of the approach to providing cybersecurity at the beginning of the year.” Now the company offers private users digital protection in the format of a single solution. Dr.Web did not respond with “Kommersant”.

The redistribution of market shares is due to the fact that now it is impossible to directly purchase products from Western manufacturers, while Chinese and Indian products remain exotic for the user market, says Anatoly Romashev, director of the Informzashchita design department. In his opinion, the main demand in the segment will remain with domestic companies.

The growth in popularity of Romanian products may be related to the actions of retailers who have begun to offer them along with laptops and other devices, Rustem Khairetdinov, deputy general director of Garda Technologies, believes. According to Anatoly Romashev, “the demand for Romanian products is a mystery that can only be explained by the low base effect.”

In general, the fall in the user security market can be explained, among other things, by the departure of official Microsoft products from Russia: Windows accounts for the largest part of the antivirus market, Rustem Khairetdinov explains: download pirated versions of them, or use free programs, the number of which is also growing.

Denis Chigin, Head of the Technology Expertise Department of the Softline Information Security Department, agrees with the conclusion about the growing number of pirated products in user security. He notes that the general user habit of saving during the crisis also affected the drop in demand.

Microsoft in March last year stopped sales of new products in the Russian Federation, in June it announced a reduction in operations in the country. According to Peer Trace (see Kommersant dated November 9, 2022), the number of distributions and downloads of Windows and Microsoft Office by Russian users has been growing since the end of last summer.

Tatyana Isakova, Timofey Kornev

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