Ovum Decision Matrix: endpoint security solutions are not completely addressing the needs of modern enterprise

Ovum names McAfee, Sophos and Symantec as leaders in endpoint security provision
(PresseBox) (London, ) Enterprises do not have a clear and comparable choice of endpoint protection solutions that completely meet today's mobile working security requirements, according to Ovum. The proliferation of devices, the rise of bring-your-own-device (BYOD), and the targeted and persistent nature of malware threats are not being addressed by the majority of vendor solutions available today.

In Ovum's latest Decision Matrix: Selecting an Endpoint Security Solution*, the independent analyst firm reveals that endpoint protection has evolved far beyond the signature-based protection afforded by early-generation antivirus solutions.

"Today, businesses need vendors that can align services with the needs of each user and their devices, proportionate to the exposure to risk and role within the enterprise," says Andrew Kellett, senior analyst at Ovum. "But for many organisations the first stumbling block will be trying to make direct comparisons between anti-malware vendors and their products."

While all vendors claim to provide the best available protection when attacks take place, unfortunately the laboratory reports do not provide consistent or relevant answers. This is due to differing test environments, composition of test data sets, different risk-profile requirements, and ever-changing operational environments.

Ovum has addressed this issue with its Decision Matrix (ODM), which provides direct assessments of the eight top players in the endpoint security market and categorises them into Leaders, Challengers and Followers**. The ODM focuses on each vendor's functionality for detecting malware, taking feedback from organizations that have used or continue to use each solution, and reporting on their stated levels of satisfaction.

"Today's endpoint security solutions must combine core on-device malware protection with intelligence-based support services that detect new threats before a traditional signature is available. These support services are now more likely to be cloud-based so the speed of service delivery and security updates can be maintained at a high level," comments Kellett.

The ODM reveals that different levels of endpoint protection continue to be provided by the respective security vendors, but common themes are emerging, such as significant convergence between core anti-malware products and associated services such as web security, data loss prevention (DLP) and data encryption.

Each of the identified Leaders plays to its own particular strengths, while also maintaining core malware protection services. However, there are differences in the range of mobile platforms supported and the ability to provide data encryption services to the devices that are most at risk. Another key area is the ability to deliver good-quality security management services, particularly relevant as it becomes increasingly important to control new mobile devices and ensure that each registered device is in an acceptable state when access to corporate applications is requested. A number of security vendors have also recognized the need to protect virtual client environments.

"As the threat landscape continues to change, the increasing need for organisations to invest in integrated endpoint protection highlights the importance for a consistent and clear method of selecting security vendors that can deliver the right levels of protection," concludes Kellett.

LEADERS: McAfee, Sophos, Symantec
CHALLENGERS: IBM, Kaspersky Lab, Trend Micro
FOLLOWERS: Avast, Eset

*Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting an Endpoint Security Solution
**Ovum's Endpoint Security Decision Matrix focuses on eight of the top players in the endpoint security market and categorises them into Leaders, Challengers and Followers.

- Leader: This category represents the leading solutions that we believe are worthy of a place on most technology selection shortlists. The vendor has established a commanding market position with a product that is widely accepted as best of breed.

- Challenger: The vendors in this category have good market positioning and are selling and marketing their products well. The products offer competitive functionality and good price-performance propositions, and should be considered as part of the technology selection.

- Follower: Solutions in this category have less broad applicability, and may have limitations in terms of the product's functionality or the vendor's execution capability. However, they will still be suitable to meet specific requirements, and may be worth exploring as part of the technology selection.

In categorising vendors, the report takes into consideration how well each vendor's protection solution has evolved to meet the changing needs of the business community and how each is positioned to deal with the new range of mobile devices. It also takes into account the consumerization of business systems and the mixed usage requirements of a BYOD culture that combines the need to protect elements of business and personal use.

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