• United States

A single-source approach to messaging threats

Nov 20, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMalwareMessaging Apps

* Industry is heading towards integrated messaging-threat products

Viruses, worms and Trojan horses were the first major messaging-oriented threats with which enterprise and individual users had to contend. These entities implemented, and continue to implement, anti-virus point products to solve the problem, most of which have worked quite well. Then along came spam, and again a large number of fairly effective point products quickly popped up to solve that problem.

However, the market for anti-virus and anti-spam tools has very quickly morphed into a market for tools that solve a wide variety of messaging threats and problems, including viruses, spam, inappropriate content sent by employees, disaster recovery, system monitoring, archiving, and so forth.

In a survey we conducted during the summer, we found that more than 60% of organizations believe purchasing messaging threat products from a single source is either somewhat desirable or very desirable. Further, all other things being equal, nearly 70% of organizations would prefer to purchase these products from a single vendor. The preference for integrated products is driven in large part by the need for easier management, as well as the need to reduce the potential for finger-pointing that happens when using products from multiple vendors.

The trend to integrate messaging threat products will have important ramifications for both the vendors that sell them and the organizations that purchase them. For vendors of integrated products, it means the market is headed their way. Vendors of point products will need to do one of two things: either make alliances with vendors of other point products to turn their single-problem products into integrated offerings, or get acquired by vendors that are morphing into providers of integrated products. Either way, during the next 18 to 24 months there is likely to be a shakeout in the point-product marketplace.

For customers, the trend toward integrated products is expanding the choices of how to implement them: as gateway-based software products, as appliances or as hosted services. Also, prices will very likely drop over the next 12 months, as users get more functions for less money.