The endpoint security market remains particularly healthy. MSPs and MSSPs are embracing many of the next-generation offerings to mitigate ransomware and other types of malware that circumvents traditional security software.
Our headline promises a look at 10 endpoint security suites. In reality, the list is 15 companies long — according to the Forrester Wave: Endpoint Security Suites report for Q3 2019. The list, according to Forrester, is broken down as follows:
- Leaders: CrowdStrike, Trend Micro, Symantec, Microsoft, Sophos, Kaspersky, and Check Point.
- Strong Performers: ESET, McAfee, Carbon Black, Bitdefender and BlackBerry Cylance.
- Contenders: Cisco Systems, Palo Alto Networks and FireEye.
Top 10 Endpoint Security Software Suites: Make that 15
Here's a look at each company along with MSSP Alert's perception of each firm's managed security services provider (MSSP) support.
1. Bitdefender: The Romanian antivirus software provider in June 2019 announced a Managed Service Provider (MSP) Program to complement its Partner Advantage Network Program (PAN), Reselling Channel Program and Integrated Channel Program. In addition to its MSP Program, Bitdefender in December 2018 launched the GravityZone Managed Endpoint Detection and Response (MEDR) service for MSPs. More Info: Bitdefender Partner Advantage Network.
2. BlackBerry Cylance: Cylance had strong MSP and MSSP followings long before BlackBerry acquired the company for $1.4 billion in 2018. Cylance has remained in growth mode under BlackBerry's ownership but the security team has also had some turnover in its channel ranks. The company in June 2019 launched CylanceGUARD, a managed detection and response (MDR) solution that provides continuous threat hunting and monitoring. Resellers can offer the MDR service to end-customers. But we're watching to see if or how MSPs and MSSPs can consume, leverage or monetize the service. More Info: Cylance MSSP Partners.
3. Carbon Black: VMware announced plans to acquire Carbon Black for $1.9 billion in August 2019. At the time of the announcement, Carbon Black had more than 5,600 customers and 500 partners globally. In Carbon Black’s second quarter of 2019, “two of the company’s largest wins were driven by MSSP partners which reflects greater channel awareness of the value of our cloud EPP,” CEO Patrick Morley told Wall Street analysts during the company’s earnings call on August 1, 2019. EPP is short for Carbon Black’s Enterprise Protection Platform. More Info: Carbon Black Partner Program.
4. Check Point Software Technologies: Check Point in mid-2019 2019 hired two key executives to focus on the security company’s America sales as well as telecom and cloud sales. The new hires arrived a few months after Check Point launched a new global partner program for solution providers and hired channel veteran Frank Rauch. In 2018, Check Point launched CloudGuard, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud security service. CloudGuard uses artificial intelligence (AI) to protect organizations against malware, phishing and zero-day attacks and employee account takeovers. More Info: Check Point Partner Program.
5. Cisco Systems: The networking giant has rapidly expanded its security business -- both organically and through acquisitions. Key moves include acquiring Singularity Networks, a provider of log, network infrastructure analytics, and threat intelligence software for MSSPs and other types of service providers. Key Singularity partners include such Top 200 MSSPs as Optiv and Presidio. Cisco itself also is a Top 100 MSSP. In the SMB sector, Cisco increasingly works with MSPs to promote various endpoint security services to customers. More Info: Cisco Systems Partner Program.
6. CrowdStrike: The company launched a successful IPO in 2019, though CrowdStrike's stock settled down a bit amid concerns that cybersecurity market valuations had become overheated. The company introduced new tiers to its partner program ahead of the IPO. More Info: CrowdStrike Elevate Partner Program.
7. ESET: In addition to its MSP and MSSP partner focus, in late 2018 released the Cloud Administrator remote security management solution for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Also, a cloud security suite for partners addresses threat hunting and monitoring; dynamic threat protection; and security management. More Info: ESET Partner Program.
8. FireEye: The company continues to gain momentum in the managed security services market — specifically as it pertains to managed defense services, CEO Kevin Mandia indicated during an earnings call in mid-2019. Still, FireEye has been known to compete with MSPs and MSSPs -- which means the company's channel program has to maintain a careful balancing act that occasionally alienates partners. More Info: FireEye Partner Program.
9. Kaspersky: The company had 2,000 registered MSP partners as of August 2019, though Kaspersky didn't disclose how many of those partners actually generate recurring revenues with the security software provider. In mid-2019, Kaspersky launched a Security Operations Center (SOC) that offers end-customers a range of cybersecurity options. But at least initially, the SOC won’t have a major MSP or MSSP partner push. The U.S. government continues to bar Kaspersky from federal networks, alleging that the software giant may have ties to Russia's government. Kaspersky has repeatedly and firmly denied the claims, and the company introduced multiple transparency efforts to help convince customers and partners that the security software doesn't contain Russia-oriented back doors. More Info: Kaspersky Partner Program.
10. McAfee: The company has been the subject of multiple IPO rumors over the past year. McAfee unveiled endpoint detection and response (EDR) and cloud offerings for its MVISION security portfolio during the company's flagship conference in last 2018. More Info: McAfee Partner Program.
11. Microsoft: The company continues to round out its cybersecurity capabilities. Among the latest moves: Threat & Vulnerability Management (TVM), a built-in capability in Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection. More Info: Microsoft Partner Program.
12. Palo Alto Networks: The company has expanded beyond traditional endpoint security management. Recent moves include acquiring Zingbox, an Internet of Things (IoT) cybersecurity company. As of early 2019, at least five major MSSPs had embraced Palo Alto Networks‘ Cortex platform. Cortex, an artificial intelligence-based continuous security platform, leverages a data lake. The lake enables organizations to store and analyze data that is normalized for advanced AI and machine learning to identify threats and orchestrate responses. More Info: Palo Alto Networks NextWave Partner Program.
13. Sophos: The security company has a strong reputation with MSPs. The Sophos management dashboard has been multi-tenant for MSP and MSSP partners for as long as this author can remember. Recent acquisitions have extended Sophos into a threat hunter and master MSSP of sorts. Instead of competing with its partners, Sophos is extending those acquired services out into the channel. More Info: Sophos Partner Program.
14. Symantec: The company's enterprise business is being acquired by Broadcom. Symantec had weak enterprise revenue ahead of the deal, but the company continues to have a massive installed base and large partner ecosystem. We're watching closely to see how Broadcom manages Symantec's MSSP business. More Info: Symantec Partner Program.
15. Trend Micro: The company was one of the first cybersecurity software providers to build SaaS-based services for MSPs. Noteworthy moves include a managed detection and response (MDR) service, along with launching a startup called Cysiv for enterprise risk management. More Info: Trend Micro Partner Program.