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The Roller Coaster Ride toward Free Antivirus

Posted: October 23, 2014   /   By: Kyle Prigmore   /   Tags: McAfee, Kaspersky, Avast, trend micro, antivirus, free antivirus

ESG data shows that 57% of enterprises have either already switched to free antivirus software or are actively exploring the option. It makes some sense: Free AV programs have posted competitive efficacy rates against paid versions, and AV is increasingly viewed as an IT operations checkbox as opposed to a pure endpoint security control. There also seems to be a decreasing need to assign budget for AV. The thinking is that those dollars could instead be spent on newer technologies such as advanced endpoint anti-malware products, endpoint forensics, or endpoint analytics. For many organizations, ditching paid antivirus for a free product could be viewed as a sensible cost-cutting move. 

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The Emerging Cybersecurity Software Architecture

Posted: May 08, 2014   /   By: Jon Oltsik   /   Tags: IBM, Microsoft, Check Point, Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, Information and Risk Management, FireEye, HP, McAfee, Oracle, Security and Privacy, Security, Apache, SIEM, Mitre, Kaspersky, ERP, Raytheon, Proofpoint, Lockheed, IDS, E&Y, Leidos, Booz Allen, Accenture, Blue Coat, AV, CSC, Anti-malware

It’s been a busy week for the information cybersecurity industry. FireEye announced the acquisition of nPulse which adds network forensics to its advanced malware detection/response portfolio. IBM chimed in with a new Threat Prevention System that includes an endpoint security client, threat intelligence feeds, and integration with its network security, and analytics platforms. Finally, Symantec unveiled its Advanced Threat Protection strategy that combines existing products, future deliverables, and services.

It’s no coincidence that these three infosec security leaders are moving in this direction as the whole industry is on the same path. I’ve written about this trend a few times. I wrote a security-vendors-are-racing-toward-a-new-anti-malware-technology-model/index.html" target="_blank">blog about the integrated anti-malware technology model in March, and this the-new-cybersecurity-technology-reality-the-whole-is-greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts/index.html">one in April about the new cybersecurity technology reality. Other vendors such as Blue Coat, Cisco, McAfee, Palo Alto Networks, and Trend Micro are also on board.

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Antivirus Software Is Not Quite Dead Yet

Posted: May 06, 2014   /   By: Jon Oltsik   /   Tags: End-User Computing, Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, Information and Risk Management, Sourcefire, FireEye, McAfee, Security and Privacy, Security, endpoint security, Malwarebytes, Kaspersky, Triumfant, Guidance Software, Crowdstrike, trend micro, Symantec, RSA Security, Cylance, Bit9, Carbon Black, Anti-malware

In a Wall Street Journal article published earlier this week, Symantec SVP Brian Dye, is quoted as saying that “antivirus is dead.” Dye goes on to proclaim that “we (Symantec) don’t think of antivirus as a moneymaker in any way.”

I beg your pardon, Brian? Isn’t Symantec the market leader? Just what are you saying? In lieu of specific answers to these questions, the blogosphere and Twitter have become a grapevine of rumors – about Symantec, AV, etc. Panic and wild predictions abound. Dogs and cats living together in the streets . . .

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Addressing advanced malware in 2014

Posted: December 16, 2013   /   By: Jon Oltsik   /   Tags: IBM, Check Point, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, Cisco, IT Infrastructure, Information and Risk Management, Sourcefire, FireEye, HP, McAfee, Security and Privacy, Security, endpoint security, Kaspersky, LogRhythm, trend micro, bromium, Symantec, Invincea, antivirus, RSA Security, Sophos, Bit9, Anti-malware, Hexis, Splunk

In the cybersecurity annals of the future, 2013 may be remembered as the year of advanced malware. Yes, I know that malware is nothing new and the term “advanced” is more hype than reality as a lot of attacks have involved little more than social engineering and off-the-shelf exploits. That said, I think it’s safe to say that this is the year that the world really woke up to malware dangers (advanced or not) and is finally willing to address this risk.

So how will enterprise organizations (i.e., more than 1,000 employees) change their security strategies over the next year to mitigate the risks associated with advanced malware threats? According to ESG research:

  • 51% of enterprise organizations say they will add a new layer of endpoint software to protect against zero day and other types of advanced malware. Good opportunity for Kaspersky, McAfee, Sophos, Symantec, and Trend Micro to talk to customers about innovation and new products but the old guard has to move quickly to prevent an incursion by new players like Bit9, Bromium, Invincea, and Malwarebytes. The network crowd (i.e., Cisco, Check Point, FireEye, Fortinet, and Palo Alto Networks, etc.) may also throw a curveball at endpoint security vendors as well. For example, Cisco (Sourcefire) is already selling an endpoint/network anti-malware solution with a combination of FireAMP and FirePOWER.
  • 49% of enterprise organizations say they will collect and analyze more security data, thus my prediction for an active year in the big data security analytics market – good news for LogRhythm and Splunk. Still, there is a lot of work to be done on the supply and demand side for this to really come to fruition.
  • 44% of enterprise organizations say they will automate more security operations tasks. Good idea since current manual security processes and informal relationship between security and IT operations is killing the effectiveness and pace of security remediation. Again, this won’t be easy as there is a cultural barrier to overcome but proactive organizations are already moving in this direction. If you are interested in this area, I suggest you have a look at Hexis Cyber Solutions’ product Hawkeye G. Forward thinking remediation stuff here.
  • 41% of enterprise organizations say they will design and build a more integrated information security architecture. In other words, they will start replacing tactical point tools with an architecture composed of central command-and-control along with distributed security enforcement. Good idea, CISOs should create a 3-5 year plan for this transition. A number of vendors including HP, IBM, McAfee, RSA Security, and Trend Micro are designing products in this direction with the enterprise in mind.
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Final Thoughts on the RSA Conference 2012

Posted: March 09, 2012   /   By: Jon Oltsik   /   Tags: Microsoft, Big Data, Cisco, Data Management & Analytics, Information and Risk Management, Sourcefire, McAfee, Security and Privacy, Kaspersky, android, Juniper Networks, rsa conference, trend micro, Symantec, RSA, Blue Coat, saic, security analytics, Gartner

Okay, it's been a week since the RSA Security Conference 2012 so my window of opportunity for editorial comment is nearly closed. A few last thoughts:

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The Evolution of Endpoint Security

Posted: February 15, 2012   /   By: Jon Oltsik   /   Tags: Check Point, Information and Risk Management, McAfee, Security and Privacy, Security, malware, endpoint security, Kaspersky, android, trend micro, Symantec, Firewall, IDS/IPS, APT, iPad

Back in 2007, ESG asked 206 IT enterprise security professionals to respond to the following statement: Endpoint security has become a commodity market with little difference between products. A majority (58%) of respondents either "strongly agreed" or "agreed" with this statement.

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