Race Between Security Software Giants Tightens

RSA conference showcases the best in vendors' newest integrated offerings.

SAN FRANCISCO—As the field vying for leadership in enterprise security software narrows, key players are putting their best efforts behind broad packages of tools and services.

But while vendors practice one-upmanship in the effort to be all things to all customers, many users remain cautiously wed to smaller point providers, leaving room for both growth and uncertainty in a market expected to nearly double to $32 billion by 2007.

At the RSA Conference here last week, vendors such as IBM, Computer Associates International Inc., and the newly combined forces of Symantec Corp. and Veritas Software Corp. continued to promote integrated offerings, showing updated products and evangelizing on their überapproach to security.

CAs newly appointed CEO, John Swainson, told eWEEK hes betting his companys future on a combination of system management and security and said he feels few others can offer CAs brand of comprehensive anti-virus, intrusion prevention and management.

"Well concentrate on a small number of things that we can get really good at. In our case, its two-system management and security," Swainson said. "Were going to try to do those two things astonishingly well and use that to rebuild the franchise."

"I dont think the combination of Symantec and Veritas makes a whole lot of sense. Symantec is strong in anti-virus and intrusion detection, but thats not core to our franchise. What they are missing is the core infrastructure ... the ability to tie that stuff together. They dont have anything like we have in Unicenter," Swainson said.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read about CA CEO Swainsons keynote speech at LinuxWorld, where he discussed Linuxs appeal for IT customers and the importance of a single GPL.

CA does have a clear jump on Symantec in the enterprise, having focused almost exclusively on that market for most of the companys history. Symantec is still trying to overcome its image as a provider of mostly consumer-focused anti-virus and security tools and reshape itself into a serious enterprise player.

But while Symantec lacks long experience within the enterprise, its CEO, John Thompson, said he believes that the depth and breadth of the companys product portfolio and ability to offer integrated solutions will give it an edge over CA, Microsoft Corp. and others.

CA has its own troubled history in the enterprise to contend with. After years of poor relations with many of its customers, the company is trying to repair those relationships while selling CIOs on the prospect of CA being a one-stop shop for security and management.

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