Endpoint security is a fast-paced, dynamic market right now. The amount of funding, M&A, and general product development is moving at what can feel like a blurring speed, and separating the facts from the marketing language can be a challenge.
For a thought experiment, imagine for a moment you are a CIO/CISO/equivalent in charge of the security budget. You are a little behind, maybe updating from an AV-only environment to a more advanced endpoint solution. How do you go about selecting a vendor? How do you begin quantifying your organizational needs?
Let's get more specific--you're looking into an endpoint DLP solution because you have no clue where potentially sensitive data goes once it leaves the network. Do you have the manpower to implement an endpoint DLP solution and keep up with the rulesets and policies that require constant tinkering (28% of organizations that responded to an ESG research survey believe they have a problematic skills shortage in information security- so quite possibly not)? Do the vendors pitching solutions offer managed services in case you can't manage internally? What is the timeline for deployment? Can deployment be broken down and customized by business unit? Are there compliance issues that only certain vendors can overcome? Will that vendor still be around in five years?
The answers vary so widely by product and by organization that there is no right or wrong answer--just recognizing the daunting scope of the problem is the point. So how are buyers doing their research? ESG Buyer Persona data shows that buyers use various sources of information when researching new products. Older buyers gravitate towards vendor marketing collateral on the web and their peer/user groups; younger buyers tend to find TV/radio advertising and social media sources more useful. These are nuanced differences that can impact a sale.
Younger endpoint vendors like FireEye/Mandiant, Bromium, Tanium, Bit9, Palo Alto, and Triumfant are riding huge amounts of momentum as endpoint security becomes a priority for organizations, but are challenged to differentiate and prove their technologies. Established vendors like Symantec, Trend Micro, McAfee, and Kaspersky are riding the evolved endpoint technology wave and have to prove that they are keeping pace alongside the new guys. And end-users are left to sort it all out. It is an interesting time to be in endpoint security on either side of the fence, and this will continue to shake out for a while yet.