Symantec Remains market leader in security

This article here, in the IT trade press, based on a recent Gartner security survey, has Symantec leading the security software market with 19.6%, McAfee and Trend Micro coming in 2nd and 3rd.   The three companies make up 35% combined market share.

Security software, which is mainly what we used to think if as AV software but with something of an expanded brief to deal with the new age of multi vector security threats, isnt the most exciting proposition in the IT stack, but remains a key product if only because the losses from malware in both financial and reputation terms can be massive.   Add to that the obscene costs and inconvenience of having to touch every desktop (indeed, every end user device in this smart-phone world), and looking after the security basics diligently becomes a key.

In no particular order, here are some thoughts on security and security software management:

  • Security is best managed with a defence in depth strategy. Create layers of security, ideally with different vendors in the various layers to protect against one vendor failing that provide protection such that your data remains safe even if one layer fails.   At a minimum, layers might include a hosted filtering service to clean data before it gets to your site ( we recommend Symantec: Hosted, AV software that integrates into your messaging servers and has a management console that makes checking updates and current versions on end points less of a chore (Symantec is an obvious choice) and a decent firewall).
  • Be disciplined about testing and monitoring security; the reality is that it can be amongst the most boring and repetitive tasks an IT team can do, and is therefore often delegated to the most junior members, who in turn are often the least capable and disciplined.  Nexus has automated a lot of the security management into our Red-X Managed Services platform, where we can monitor and alert based on correct updates and filter out some of the less useful errors these systems throw up.
  • Don’t be seduced by a lower cost product.  The costs in the security software market are much less in the software and licensing costs and more in the risks of a failure and the required management to make sure that the system is correctly installed across the IT assets, including guests and other devices, up-to-date and effective.

I often say of Symantec that they do not often come first in the quarterly surveys that one sees on effectiveness of security software … they do however consistently score well; I would rather product that is always good, instead of product that is occasionally brilliant.  They also have more thorough testing and the resources to adjust to new threats and a shifting security landscape as they come to light.   It’s a bonus that their updates haven’t crashed servers throughout the world, where some above-mentioned competitors have.

We look after security software from a variety of vendors – client preference and the cost of change being the main factors – but we always recommend Symantec as a safe and manageable platform with a low cost of ownership (the lowest TCO in my view, given our management automation).  Contact us if we can help.

Sean Murphy

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