The midmarket remains rightly anxious about enterprise security, especially as it finds itself in the thick of the BYOD revolution. And suppliers appear to be catching on.
It's been evident for some time that old-school antivirus solutions are of very limited value when it comes to defending networks against malware. No wonder, then, that security vendors who have been closely identified with the antivirus market have been striving to promote more comprehensive security packages, increasingly aimed at the valued midmarket sector.
The main players in the market, of course, have been McAfee, Norton, Symantec (which owns the Norton brands), and Sophos.
Recently, the Russian security giant, KasperskyLabs, has been making impressive inroads into the enterprise market, at the expense of some of the established players. This doesn't mean it's about to overtake Symantec and McAfee, who between them have something like a 30 percent share of the global security market, while Kaspersky has a little over 3 percent. But Symantec and McAfee are seeing their market shrink, while Kaspersky is witnessing growth.
Analysts suggest Kaspersky owes its growth to the US midtier, although high-profile coups like discovering Stuxnet and Flame can't be hurting business either.
Peter Firstbrook of Gartner told Forbes magazine last year:
[KasperskyLabs] are in a market that Symantec and McAfee haven't really paid much attention to because they are focused on much larger end-users, but in the long run I see them taking even more market share away from the top two companies. They totally left an opening for Kaspersky and some freeware competitors in the SMB space.
In the intervening 12 months, there have been signs that McAfee and Symantec have woken up to midmarket opportunities.
As reported by veteran IT blogger The VAR Guy, McAfee currently has a major midmarket initiative about to launch:
The effort involves a Total Access promotion for partners that can sell new deployments to customers with 5000 nodes and/or 400 servers. For partners, some deals could deliver 30 percent margin.
The Total Access package is specifically aimed at non-McAfee customers. It claims to offer, as a jumping-off point, "comprehensive endpoint and/or server protection," and is priced for SMBs. It's an aggressive move into the midtier startup market, and is presumably designed to slow Kaspersky's encroachment.
Symantec has also been putting more muscle behind its partner program to promote midtier sales, offering security tools for integration with MSP solutions. Sophos, in the meantime, has been boosting the "simplicity" of its systems, integrated with customer networks, but managed from the Sophos side, primarily in the cloud.
The time is ripe for midmarket enterprises to take a fresh look at security offerings. Opportunities exist to replace piecemeal solutions with holistic packages, and with the market turning sharply competitive, prices may become more affordable than ever.
— Kim Davis , Community Editor, Internet Evolution