Competitors Scoff at Anti
-virus Vendors Chances in Services Market"> The anti-virus leaders may be optimistic about their prospects for jumping further into the professional services market, but some companies they will compete with in the space maintain that it will be hard for such product-oriented vendors to transition into the sector. While there is rapidly increasing demand for professional security services, making the leap into the business isnt something that can be achieved overnight, said Mark Iwanowski, chief executive of risk management specialist KSR, in San Mateo, Calif., and a former senior vice president of global IT at Oracle.For its part, KSR is looking to provide security assessment and management services while acquiring technologies such as anti-virus software through mergers and partnerships with companies such as Qualys, Tablus and TriCipher. "If you look at the genesis of these anti-virus companies, theyre trying to reinvent themselves around risk management and professional services, which will be very hard to do for a number of reasons," Iwanowski said. "These companies and those coming into the services market from the network side cannot address risk management with the breadth that [CIOs] are looking for. The Big Four are better at it, as [are companies] like IBM, but they dont want to manage the operations, which is what will create opportunities for companies like KSR." Industry analysts observed that Symantec and McAfee are wise to expand their security services businesses as Microsoft and other forces in the market put increasing pressure on their product-derived revenues. For advice on how to secure your network and applications, as well as the latest security news, visit Ziff Davis Internets Security IT Hub. Both companies will likely have strengths in particular areas, with McAfee focusing on compliance and Symantec flexing its muscle in IT infrastructure, according to Andrew Braunberg, an analyst with Current Analysis, which is based in Sterling, Va. "Symantec is well positioned given the breadth of its existing portfolio in IT infrastructure, and could probably become a substantial player in the security professional services market," Braunberg said. "McAfee deserves to get a lot of credit in moving to risk management; they traditionally havent kept their eye on the ball in terms of market shifts, but theyve been very focused on this strategy over the last 18 months or so; acquisitions such as the Citadel deal could play well into their growth in that capacity." The analyst said the move is also part of the companies ongoing efforts to generate more business from enterprises as consumer security technologies become particularly commoditized. "Part of this strategy is being driven by the need to diversify more strongly into enterprise market, as customers there are ready to adopt services much more broadly," Braunberg said. "These vendors need a serious professional services group if they want to play at the highest levels of the enterprise market; thats seen as a requirement for doing business in the enterprise space." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.
According to Iwanowski, Big Four consultants such as Accenture dont want to move into operational security management services because they have no interest in overseeing the daily tasks involved in such work, while anti-virus companies such as Symantec and McAfee lack the high-level expertise needed to help customers create security policies and governance strategies. End users will also be suspicious about the firms willingness to recommend products from other security providers, he said.