The IT security market in the Asia Pacific region except Japan (APEJ) was busy last year with security experts stepping up their efforts in a race against attackers that do not go on holidays.The cat-and-mouse game led to a 7.5 percent growth for the security market in the region last year to reach US$1.43 billion, according to the Asia\/Pacific Semiannual Security Software Tracker of independent analyst firm IDC. The second half of last year grew to US$755 million against the same period in 2009, registering double-digit growth for most markets.The new areas of attack are in the cloud and in the virtualisation space. "Improper use" of social media is also to blame, said IDC."Confidential information of the companies may be breached by improper use of social network media and network connected. Furthermore, organisations have to face the increasing amount of 'Zero Day' malware coming from hackers," said Marco Lam, market analyst, IDC Asia\/Pacific Software Research.Not an islandLam warned that security threats, including "misdeeds" such as identity fraud, are not going to stop or slow down. Worse, organisations are not stand-alone prey of the security threats. In a connected world, the customers and partners of different organisations can also be affected as they form part of the network. "Organisations need to have a security strategy and look into ways to minimising their exposure and loss. They should have a clear picture of what kind of information they process and who have the access to that information. Stakeholders could anticipate the value impact and how information might be 'lost'," said Lam.With virtualisation and cloud computing catching on among organisations, IDC warned that the next battle field are these new trends that emphasise the use of networks."IDC predicts cloud computing and virtualisation technology to be the long-term development directions for optimising management overheads in the security software market. Automation and centralised management is the 'paradise' that organisations are looking for," IDC stated.There are solutions, of course, such as cloud-based security software and similar solutions for the virtualised environment.New technologiesNew technologies for telecommunications infrastructures, such as 3G and the upcoming 4G, are posing new threats to remote access security. Smartphones and tablets, which run on 3G and 4G networks, are the new challenges for software security providers, especially for business users."IDC expects companies to continue to leverage and integrate new security technologies to defend against intrusion and malware. Consequently, CIOs will keep on evaluating and adopting the latest IT security solution proactively. Thus, the overall security software market will continue to experience healthy growth," Marco said.IDC expects the identity and access management (IAM), and security and vulnerability management (SVM) markets to experience the largest growth of 17 percent and reach US$375 million and US$161 million, respectively in 2011. The secure content and threat management (SCTM) market is expected to grow at 13.3 percent and reach US$1.06 billion in 2011.