A Forrester study sees the market shifting from best-of-breed to comprehensive suite solutions that offer more layered approaches to security.
Posted Aug 19, 2005
McAfee emerged the market leader in Forrester Research's recent evaluation of the evolving client security market for businesses, "The Forrester Wave: Client Security Suites, Q2 2005." Symantec was a close second, with the report citing its complete and robust client security tools. Trend Micro also finished strong, based on its comprehensive solution, coming in third. Computer Associates ranked fourth. The four vendors were grouped according to current offering, strategy, and market presence, and were selected based on revenue exceeding $500 million, a suite encompassing solutions that provide protection against known threats, and a central management feature for all product functionality. The report combined lab evaluations, vendor surveys, and product demos.
Forrester tags client security suites to be those that integrate antivirus, antispyware, personal firewall, and Host Intrusion Prevention Systems (HIPS). McAfee was considered the most comprehensive security suite with a full portfolio, robust management features, and strong architecture, making it "a great fit for companies looking for a client security solution," says Natalie Lambert, analyst for Forrester. "It's the only suite with full HIPS functionality, although it isn't yet fully integrated."
Symantec offers strong spyware detection, manageability, and robust management features, according to the report. The console and alerts, errors, and notification messages are customizable to the needs of each organization. The one negative cited was Symantec's limited offering of HIPS functionality in a fully integrated suite. Trend Micro excelled in unified architecture and Web-based management console functionality that enables administrators to manage the product remotely. Last, Computer Associates offered the best protection against know threats but lacked key features, including the ability to customize how different categories of spyware are handled.
Forrester found that 80 percent of companies use antispyware and antivirus tools on at least some systems, but Lambert contends these traditional signature-based tools together don't provide sufficient defense against attacks, and that firewalls and HIPS are necessary supplements to provide adequate protection. "Antivirus and perimeter defenses alone no longer provide adequate defense against malicious code, particularly as the workforce becomes increasingly mobile."
With only 23 percent of companies deploying firewalls on their desktops and laptops, and with the HIPS market just emerging, Lambert says companies will start looking toward security suite solutions for their protection in the near future. "We expect the market to shift quickly towards client security suites as leading vendors enhance functionality across key areas and do better jobs of integrating."
This shift can be attributed to the advantages of security suite solutions and the emerging complexity of malicious code, she says. Client security suites offer companies more layered approaches to client security than using antivirus programs alone. In addition, these security suites can be managed together, unlike multiple best-of-breed tools that require separate management consoles, Lambert says. "This unified approach allows client security managers to track threat information more easily across the organization."
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