The Push Toward Comprehensive Endpoint Security Suites

Traditional and next-gen vendors offer suites for endpoint protection, detection, and response but what’s needed and will customers buy?

Yesterday, antivirus leader Symantec made a significant announcement about the latest version of its Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) product. The new version of SEP features a range of functionality including machine learning for threat prevention, endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities, deception technology, exploit protection, etc. – all based upon a common endpoint security agent.

Topics: Cybersecurity endpoint security Symantec Symantec Endpoint Protection endpoint security suite

What is an Enterprise-class Cybersecurity Vendor?

On Monday of this week, I posted a blog about enterprise-class cybersecurity vendors. Which vendors are considered enterprise-class? According to recent ESG research, Cisco, IBM, Symantec, and McAfee top the list. 

This blog addressed the “who” question but not the “what.” In other words, just what is an enterprise-class cybersecurity vendor anyway? As part of its research survey, ESG asked 176 cybersecurity and IT professionals to identify the most important characteristics of an enterprise-class cybersecurity vendor. The data reveals that:

  • 35% of survey respondents say the most important attribute for an enterprise-class cybersecurity vendor is cybersecurity expertise specific to their organization’s industry. In other words, enterprise-class cybersecurity vendors need more than horizontal security solutions, they need to understand explicit industry business processes, regulations, organizational dynamics, global footprints, etc.
Topics: Information Security IBM Cybersecurity Cisco McAfee Symantec CISO NIST ISSA

Cybersec Pros Choose Their Top Enterprise-class Cybersecurity Vendors

Based upon lots of ESG research, some enterprise cybersecurity technology trends are emerging:

  1. Large enterprises are actively consolidating the number of vendors they do business with. This puts some of the point tools vendors at risk as CISOs sign up for enterprise licensing agreements and try to maximize ROI by using more tools from a few select vendors.
  2. Enterprises are seeking to integrate point tools into a cohesive technology architecture. Like ESG’s security operations and analytics platform architecture (SOAPA) concept, large organizations are actively integrating tools to bolster technology interoperability, improve security efficacy, and streamline security operations.
  3. All organizations need help. Yes, companies are still buying new security tools, but these new products are often accompanied by professional services. Additionally, many CISOs are now looking at cybersecurity through a portfolio management lens and figuring out which areas to outsource to MSSPs and SaaS providers.
Topics: IBM Cybersecurity Cisco McAfee Enterprise Symantec CISO

Quick take: Symantec buys Blue Coat

When former CEO Mike Brown left Symantec in April of this year, I wrote a blog about what I would do if I were recruited as Mike’s replacement. While one of my suggestions was for Symantec to resume M&A activities, I was really thinking about a strategy for filling in product gaps — perhaps Symantec could pick up LogRhythm to add a leading SIEM to its portfolio, or grab Carbon Black for endpoint security analytics and forensics.

Topics: Cybersecurity Symantec Blue Coat M&A

Symantec and Blue Coat cybersecurity 3x2

It had been quite quiet on the merger and acquisition front in the cybersecurity market. Everybody seems to agree that it's ripe for consolidation, and there's news that Symantec has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Blue Coat. Framed as its next step in cementing itself as the dominant pure-play cybersecurity vendor, the combination of Symantec and Blue Coat represents a bold move to expand the product portfolio, add key leadership, and enhance financials. Here is a 3x2 of what this means and what to watch for moving forward:

Topics: Cybersecurity Symantec Mergers / Acquisitions BlueCoat

If I were the next CEO of Symantec – redux

I just read a Bloomberg article, proclaiming that Symantec cut its quarterly revenue forecast and announcing that CEO Michael Brown will step down. Unfortunately for Symantec, the company has had a revolving door of chief executives — four different individuals since 2008, and now onward to a fifth.

Topics: Cybersecurity Symantec

Handicapping Enterprise Security Vendors

In the course of my average work day, I try to read all the cybersecurity news I can. I came across a very good article in Forbes that looks at the cybersecurity opportunities for companies like IBM, Cisco, Dell, and others.  The article points out that the market for cybersecurity products and services is estimated at $77b today, growing to $120b by 2020. That’s a lot of firewalls, AV software, and identity tokens!

Topics: IBM Cybersecurity Cisco Dell trend micro Symantec Intel Security

Welcome Back, Veritas! The Truth Is Still the Truth

Today, Symantec announced that the Information Management (Data Protection) side of Symantec will be called Veritas Technologies Corporation (press release). Frankly, if they had chosen anything else, I would have been disappointed.

Topics: Data Protection Symantec NetBackup Backup Exec backup & recovery Veritas

Anticipating Black Hat

RSA 2014 seems like ancient history and the 2015 event isn’t until next April. No worries, however, the industry is set to gather in the Las Vegas heat next week for cocktails, sushi bars, and oh yeah – Black Hat.

Now Black Hat is an interesting blend of constituents consisting of government gumshoes, Sand Hill Rd. Merlot drinking VCs, cybersecurity business wonks, “beautiful mind” academics, and tattooed hackers – my kind of crowd! As such, we aren’t likely to hear much about NIST frameworks, GRC, or CISO strategies. Alternatively, I am looking forward to deep discussions on:

  • Advanced malware tactics. Some of my favorite cybersecurity researchers will be in town to describe what they are seeing “in the wild.” These discussions are extremely informative and scary at the same time. This is where industry analysts like me learn about the latest evasion techniques, man-in-the-browser attacks, and whether mobile malware will really impact enterprise organizations.
  • The anatomy of various security breaches. Breaches at organizations like the New York Times, Nordstrom, Target, and the Wall Street Journal receive lots of media attention, but the actual details of attacks like these are far too technical for business publications or media outlets like CNN and Fox News. These “kill chain” details are exactly what we industry insiders crave as they provide play-by-play commentary about the cybersecurity cat-and-mouse game we live in.
  • Threat intelligence. All of the leading infosec vendors (i.e., Blue Coat, Cisco, Check Point, HP, IBM, Juniper, McAfee, RSA, Symantec, Trend Micro, Webroot, etc.) have been offering threat intelligence for years, yet threat intelligence will be one of the major highlights at Black Hat. Why? Because not all security and/or threat intelligence is created equally. Newer players like BitSight, Crowdstrike, iSight Partners, Norse, RiskIQ, and Vorstack are slicing and dicing threat intelligence and customizing it for specific industries and use cases. Other vendors like Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks are actively sharing threat intelligence and encouraging other security insiders to join. Finally, there is a global hue and cry for intelligence sharing that includes industry standards (i.e. CybOX, STIX, TAXII, etc.) and even pending legislation. All of these things should create an interesting discourse.
  • Big data security analytics. This is an area I follow closely that is changing on a daily basis. It’s also an interesting community of vendors. Some (i.e., 21CT, ISC8, Leidos, Lockheed-Martin, Norse, Palantir, Raytheon, etc.), come from the post 9/11 “total information access” world, while others (Click Security, HP, IBM, Lancope, LogRhythm, RSA, etc.) are firmly rooted in the infosec industry. I look forward to a lively discussion about geeky topics like algorithms, machine learning, and visual analytics.
Topics: IBM Check Point Palo Alto Networks Fortinet Cisco Data Management & Analytics Information and Risk Management Juniper HP McAfee Enterprise Software Security and Privacy Crowdstrike Lockheed Martin Black Hat trend micro RiskIQ 21CT Leidos Norse CybOX BitSight Symantec RSA TAXII ISC8 Blue Coat STIX Webroot

Is Cisco Back (as an Enterprise Security Leader)?

It wasn’t too long ago that Cisco was a dominant force in information security technology. The company was a market leader in firewalls, IDS/IPS, and e-mail security and was actively pushing products for endpoint security and SIEM as well as security “blades” for Catalyst switches. Heck, Cisco even articulated a bold vision of “self-defending networks” with security policy, enforcement, and intelligence all baked into the network.

Somewhere around 2008, however, Cisco security went into a prolonged slump. Cisco security products didn’t offer the performance of rivals like Crossbeam (now Blue Coat), Juniper, or McAfee. Cisco missed markets like next-generation firewalls, opening the door for savvy startups like FireEye, Palo Alto Networks, and Stonesoft. Cisco products such as the Cisco Security Agent (Okena) and MARS (Protego) were abject failures and discontinued by the company. Finally, Cisco’s security team itself imploded as management and engineering leaders fled San Jose for greener valley pastures.

Topics: IBM Palo Alto Networks Cisco Hadoop Networking Information and Risk Management Juniper Sourcefire FireEye HP McAfee Security and Privacy Security CiscoLive trend micro Symantec Blue Coat TrustSec Crossbeam Mergers / Acquisitions Anti-malware