About 44% of the US$16.5bn global security software market in 2010 belonged to the top five vendors, according to a study by Gartner.
"The information security market is in a continuous state of consolidation," said Ruggero Contu, principal research analyst at Gartner.
But despite constant M&A activity, the market is far from reaching a consolidated status, in which more than 60-70% is owned by the top five players.
According to Gartner analysts, the main reason for this trend is that big players have been losing ground against smaller and innovative vendors, many of which are startups that developed offerings to meet new threats and vulnerabilities.
"We expect more consolidation to take place, along with innovations being introduced by new additions to the market," Contu said. "The security market continues to provide good growth opportunities for both established players and startup companies."
Similar to other related markets, security relies a great deal on innovation from startup companies, which is particularly the case with a continuous influx of new vulnerabilities and threats.