Anti-Virus in 1999 - Time to Review
Anti-Virus market consolidation offers end users a
unique opportunity to review their solution, says META Group white paper; companies focused on Year 2000 ignore
anti-virus at their peril
Cupertino, Calif. June 1, 1999 - Companies should take
advantage of consolidation in the anti-virus market over the last twelve months
and make 1999 the year they re-evaluate their anti-virus strategy, says leading
market analyst firm, the META Group, in a white paper entitled "Anti-virus: Time
The report adds that Year 2000 provides an added impetus to companies to
evaluate their anti-virus strategy. As the new millennium approaches, META warns
companies against neglecting anti-virus requirements and says they should ensure
their anti-virus protection is up-to-date to deal with virus threats created by
hackers who see 2000 as "a milestone event to create additional havoc."
The basis for the META report is a series of mergers, alliances and acquisitions
between the main anti-virus players last year. Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) signed an
alliance with IBM in May 1998 in which IBM assigned to Symantec its anti-virus
customer base. IBM is marketing and recommending Norton AntiVirus to its
customers worldwide. In August, Network Associates paid $640 million for Dr.
Solomon's. And in September and October, Symantec announced purchases of Intel's
anti-virus business and Quarterdeck respectively.
"The net result is that tens of thousands of European corporate anti-virus
customers are going to have to replace their anti-virus solution because their
supplier is no longer in the market," says Jack Gold, senior program director
with the META Group. The white paper tells these customers to seize the
opportunity to re-think their strategy and not simply gravitate towards using
the vendor that has acquired the technology they currently have installed. "Now
is the time to re-evaluate from a clean sheet of paper," says META.
Kurt Schlegel, META Group's lead analyst on anti-virus tools, says corporates
need to evaluate supplier competence by taking into account multiple factors
including breadth of security services offered, minimization of cost of
ownership, architectural coherence, amount of resources the vendor offers and
the speed and availability of upgrade.
The META Group white paper also states: "A vendor's migration or deployment
capability, which will in all cases necessitate de-installation and
re-installation, presents the user with a prime opportunity to assess a top tier
vendor in meeting their specific requirements."
"Our experience over the last six months suggests that a lot of companies are
already following the META Group's advice," says Dana Siebert, executive vice
president worldwide sales, marketing and support for Symantec. "Network
Associates and former Dr. Solomon's customers are transitioning to Norton
AntiVirus because we offer high levels of customer service and support as well
as technical features such as single extensible engine architecture which makes
the Norton AntiVirus easy to administrate and reduces the cost of ownership
significantly. We have also invested considerable resources into developing
transition assistance services to help companies migrate to Norton AntiVirus
cost-effectively and with minimal impact on end-user productivity."
The META Group white paper also warns companies against delaying decisions to
review their anti-virus solution because of Year 2000 concerns. Instead, META
says companies should make sure their anti-virus protection is up-to-date and
capable of dealing with security threats that may arise as hackers seek to make
a name for themselves in the new millennium.
The white paper says: "It's easy to see how an anti-virus strategy could take a
strategic back seat. However, we believe it is imperative that organizations do
not ignore anti-virus issues. The cost associated with protecting against virus
infections ($20-$50/user) are trivial compared to Y2K costs (potentially
multi-million dollar investments)."
Jack Gold of META says: "The Melissa virus outbreak has made organizations
realize the implications of virus infection. An attack targeting a file server
with customer information or financial data can easily wipe out the entire data
contents, thus putting the organization out of business until data is recovered
(requiring hours or even days to complete, and costing the organizations
thousands to hundred of thousands of dollars). We believe that organizations
should do all they can to protect against this possible outcome, rather than
risk the consequences, especially for the relatively small cost of protection.
Adequate anti-virus protection must be an important component of any
comprehensive Y2K effort."
To obtain a copy of the META Group white paper please contact: Richard Saunders
- firstname.lastname@example.org or (408) 446 7550.
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