A Reality Check on the Growth of Data Security Software

April 25, 2024

The data security software market is constantly changing. 

New security solutions seem to hit the market all the time. Mainstream media regularly reports on data privacy and security threats, increasing awareness among the public. It's safe to assume parallel linear growth in the data security software marketplace and increasing interest in data security products due to that.

However, does G2 data support the assumption that market demand for security products, particularly data security software, grows each year?

What are the different types of data security software?

Data security is a critical business function, but if data security covers different types of information, does this mean different tools have different functionalities? If so, how does one determine the type of software best suited for protecting their data?

G2 guides data security software buyers toward the most appropriate solution for their business needs through our eight data security software categories:

Database security software: Used by businesses to ensure information in a database is stored securely and used properly. This type of software often overlaps with different categories of data security.

Data center security solutions: Secures on-premises infrastructure and typically enables monitoring and alert capabilities.

Data-centric security software: Secures only data rather than the infrastructure used to access or store data.

Data loss prevention (DLP) software: Also known as data leak protection software, it controls data access and movement to comply with company policies

Data masking software: Disguises data so it can be used by the organization but not by outside parties.

Encryption key management software: Manages encryption keys, which are used to secure access to sensitive information.

Mobile data security software: Specifically protects mobile devices and their data.

Secrets management tools: Securely manages authentication credentials such as passwords and API keys.

It probably goes without saying that these tools haven’t always existed in their current form and that new types of security software capturing emerging technologies and new features have developed over the years. Has customer interest in data security software grown as well?

How interest in data security software has grown 

Looking at G2’s Data Security Software category traffic from 2019 through 2023, we can see that unique visits to these categories increased with a spike in traffic in 2021. Traffic has since declined.

Unsurprisingly, we saw a lot of traffic for the Mobile Data Security category in 2020 and 2021. As organizations moved to remote working arrangements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, securing data on mobile devices and preventing sensitive data loss was more important than ever.

Many could assume traffic would continue to grow as new threats emerge and new products hit the market in response. Instead, we see a decrease in traffic to data security software categories in 2022 and again in 2023. Let’s explore the reason for this decline in detail.

Why is data security traffic decreasing?

There are several possible explanations for the decline in traffic to data security software categories.

The rise of AI and machine learning capabilities, with the announcement of ChatGPT in 2022, captured everyone's attention. G2’s State of Software Q4 2023 warns against organizations cutting back on security budgets, which could indicate that organizations might neglect security software budgets in favor of chasing new AI-powered capabilities.

Or perhaps organizations made multi-year deals when they last purchased data security software, and they aren’t yet having renewal conversations.

There are plenty of reasons we could speculate, but a strong one is that organizations are happy with the products they have now. And no need to speculate on this one; we have the data to back it up.

Organizations are happy with their data security software

G2 gathers customer sentiment through reviews. A standard set of questions asked in every G2 software review, regardless of product, function, or industry, is known as the “Simple 6”.

The Simple 6 measures the following:

  • Ease of Admin
  • Ease of Setup
  • Meets Requirements of Use
  • Ease of Doing Business With
  • Ease of Use
  • Quality of Support

Within the G2 review form, customers are asked to rate each of these points on a scale of 1 to 7. If we look at the average rating across all products within the data security software categories for the same time period, we observe the following: 

 Products within the data security software space start from high ratings. At no point from 2019 to 2023 was the average rating for any one of the questions across data security software rated less than a 6 on a scale of 1 to 7. With the exception of “Meets Requirements”, all ratings show an increase from 2019 to 2023.

With the exception of “Meets Requirements”, the moving average for all other considerations was higher in 2023 than it was in 2019. It should be noted that “Meets Requirements” was the highest rated until it fell to second in 2023.

We also know that data security software customers aren’t switching products in large numbers. Of the nearly 3,000 data security software users who submitted or updated existing G2 reviews between 2019 and 2023, only 14% reported switching to their data security tool from another product.

Traffic is decreasing because customers are satisfied

Most people don’t research data security software for fun. Category traffic on G2 is a strong signal that prospective buyers intend to identify software or services that meet their business needs.

Professor Stuart E. Madnick, Ph.D., notes a 20% increase in data breaches in 2023 from 2022 in his paper: The Continued Threat to Personal Data: Key Factors Behind the 2023 Increase. Despite growing incidences of data compromise and loss, prospective buyers aren’t proactively searching out alternative products.

When customers are happy and have no reason to research alternative data security software, there is a natural reduction in traffic to the category.

If you do need a new data security software (or you like researching software for fun), G2's various Data Security Software categories can help.

Learn about shiny object syndrome and how it's impacting the cybersecurity software space.

Edited by Jigmee Bhutia

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A Reality Check on the Growth of Data Security Software Traffic to G2's Data Security Software categories is declining. Surprised? Explore the possible explanations. https://learn.g2.com/hubfs/G2CR_B158_Data_Security_V1a.png
Lauren Worth Lauren is a Market Research Analyst at G2 working with privacy, security, and GRC software. Prior to joining G2, Lauren worked in international education for over a decade. She enjoys reading, traveling to less commonly visited global destinations, and trying new foods. https://learn.g2.com/hubfs/LaurenWorthG2_HS_20220810_1455-Edit.jpg https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauren-worth00/