In a surprise move database vendor Oracle has announced it is to offer a hosted web security service.
The new approach to security reflects a move away from the "bolt- on" method many companies have, said Thomas Kurian, senior vice president of Oracle Server Technologies.
"For too long companies have struggled with implementing, managing and maintaining separate security models for each individual application in their IT environment," he said.
"Service-Oriented Security aims to abstract these fragmented and hard-coded policies by providing a standards-based, architectural model to centralize the management of these silos."
Oracle – whose service will launch later this year - says companies will be able to decouple security features from particular applications and centralise security processes.
Gartner believes security as a service will see an annual growth rate of more than 30 per cent through 2012, as companies move more broadly to using web–hosted applications.
The global enterprise security market is worth more than £5.5bn annually, and is growing over 10 per cent a year, according to Canalys research.