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Friday, March 25, 2005

Symantec Gains Added Vendor Neutrality with New IPS Support

Current Analysis says competitive pressures have forced Symantec to expand its managed security services offering to include support for intrusion prevention systems.  On March 15, Symantec expanded its Symantec Managed Security Services (MSS) to support additional intrusion prevention systems (IPS).

The new Monitored and Managed IPS Service includes support for an extensive list of network-based IPS technologies available, including ISS, Juniper Networks, Tipping Point, McAfee, and Cisco, as well as its own Symantec Network Security 7100 Series appliances.  This new offering reinforces Symantec’s commitment to providing customers with vendor choice and flexibility for their network environment.

Current Perspective: Positive on Symantec’s expansion of its MSS services, because the company continues to embrace its vendor agnostic approach to managed security services, while also addressing clients’ need for flexibility.  Additionally, the enhanced offering resonates with a stronger sales message that can be pitched to a broader audience.

Vendor Importance: Moderate to Symantec, because the company expands its support for additional IPS technologies, providing some differentiation in the market compared to competitors that are slow in expanding support for Symantec’s IPS product.

Market Impact: Moderate on the managed security market, as the announcement will primarily impact competitors such as ISS, which offer their own IPS products and are not seen as vendor-agnostic.

In addition to providing added flexibility for clients and the ability for clients to upgrade to preventative (proactive) offerings from intrusion detection services (IDS) vendors (reactive), the announcement offers proof of Symantec’s commitment to delivering vendor-neutral offerings with its managed security solutions.  The enhancements will primarily impact those competitors with their own branded offerings and are often cited with promoting their own brand of products over competitor’s offerings such as ISS, which may be better suited for a specific enterprises needs and budgets.

The impact on competitors in the managed security market will be moderate, as many have taken steps to move to a vendor-neutral platform themselves, recognizing the benefit of offering clients a wider array of technologies.

Symantec is not the only managed security provider that touts vendor-agnostic support for multiple technologies, as competitors such as IBM, VeriSign, Counterpane, and RedSiren (Getronics) have marketed a similar messages to attract a larger enterprise audience.

Posted on 03/25