Security Program Controls/Technologies, Content, Endpoint/Device Security

Gartner Magic Quadrant: Endpoint Protection Platforms, Cybersecurity Tools 2017

Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms (2017) plots 22 cybersecurity companies. But how many of the those companies actually have dedicated partner programs for MSPs and full-blown MSSPs? We went looking for answers -- along with links and factoids about each company's MSSP offerings. First, some definitions. According to Gartner, Endpoint Protection Platforms provide
"security capabilities to protect workstations, smartphones and tablets. Security and risk management leaders of endpoint protection should investigate malware detection effectiveness, performance impact on the host machines and administrative overhead."
An enterprise endpoint protection platform (EPP), according to Gartner, is an integrated solution that includes: Anti-malware, personal firewall, port and device control. EPP solutions will also often include vulnerability assessment, application control, application sandboxing, enterprise mobility management (EMM), memory protection, endpoint detection and response (EDR) technology, data protection such as full disk and file encryption, and endpoint data loss prevention (DLP), Gartner asserts. By 2019, Gartner expects the EPP and EDR markets to more fully converge. For its 2017 report, Gartner examined 22 companies and placed them into one of four quadrants:
  • Niche Players
  • Challengers
  • Visionaries
  • Leaders.
For the sake of our editorial content, we've sorted each company alphabetically in their associated Quadrant. In the 'MSSP Solutions' area, MSSP Alert has added our personal views on each company's partner programs.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms: Niche Players

Here are the companies that Gartner mentioned for the niche player quadrant. Commentary is MSSP Alert's.
  • 360 Enterprise Security Group: 360 Enterprise Security Group, established in 2015, belongs to the world's largest Internet security company Qihoo 360, and is an integrated group that provide new-generation security products and security services for the government and enterprises. MSSP Solutions: Not that we're familiar with.
  • Ahnlab: Founded in 1995, Ahnlab is a security company in South Korea. The company sells antivirus software, online security and network security appliances. MSSP Solutions: Ahnlab itself is an MSSP. The company provides a range of managed security services.
  • BitdefenderThe security company is well-known within channel partner circles and has a growing base of MSPs. MSSP Solutions: BitDefender's cloud-managed security solutions have integrations with ConnectWise, Kaseya, and SolarWinds MSP, among others.
  • ComodoComodo claims to be the world's largest certificate authority. The company authenticates, validates and secures networks and infrastructures from individuals to mid-sized companies to the world's largest enterprises. Comodo is headquartered in Clifton, New Jersey. MSSP Solutions: The company focuses mostly on resellers and web hosts, though there were signs of MSP progress in 2015.
  • Eset: With solutions ranging from endpoint and mobile security, to encryption and two-factor authentication, ESET’s products are designed for consumers and businesses. MSSP Solutions. Eset has a well-established MSP partner program.
  • F-Secure: The company claims to shield enterprises and consumers against everything from advanced cyber attacks and data breaches to widespread ransomware infections. MSSP Solutions: Actually, F-Secure focuses mostly on resellers, retailers and operators. But in a way, the company's 200+ operators are MSSPs. The company announced an MSP partner program back in 2014 but we haven't heard much about the MSP emphasis since that time.
  • G Data Software: The German software company, founded in 1985, focuses on computer security solutions -- including antivirus software. MSSP Solutions: G Data launched a partner program in the U.S. in 2011, but we haven't heard about any major MSP moves since that time.
  • Malwarebytes: As of mid-2017, more than 10,000 businesses worldwide leverage Malwarebytes. Founded in 2008, the company is headquartered in California, with offices in Europe and Asia. MSSP Solutions: Malwarebytes has a well-established partner program. The company also has relationships with ConnectWise and Kaseya, though Malwarebytes itself could do more to emphasize its MSP strategy.
  • Panda Security: The anti-virus provider works with web affiliates, resellers and strategic alliance partners. MSSP Solutions: For the MSP angle, take a look at the company's Strategic Partner Program -- where most ISPs, MSPs and consulting firms work with the company.
  • Webroot: Gartner may consider Webroot a niche player, but MSPs certainly do not. MSSP Solutions: Poke around the SMB sector, and you'll find thousands of MSPs promoting Webroot to their end-customers. Plus, Webroot has integrations with most of the major MSP software companies. The big question is whether Webroot will move upstream to aggressively engage larger service providers.
Bottom Line for Niche Players: Of the 10 technology companies in Gartner's niche category, Webroot potentially has the longest, most effective track record with MSPs.

Continue to page 2 of 3 for the Challengers and Visionary Quadrants.

Welcome to page 2 of 3. Here, we cover the Challengers and Visionaries quadrants.

Here are the companies that Gartner mentioned for the challenger quadrant. Commentary is MSSP Alert's.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms: Challengers

  • Intel Security (now McAfee): McAfee spun out of Intel in early 2017. The company has a mixed track record with MSPs. The 2009 deal to acquire MX Logic gave McAfee instant credibility. But under Intel's ownership (2010-2016), McAfee in some respects lost its way with MSPs -- even killing some products that were quite popular with the recurring revenue crowd. MSSP Solutions: Admittedly, McAfee has turned the page and is now free of Intel's direction. Chatter within the company increasingly emphasizes MSPs.
  • MicrosoftMicrosoft is building more and more security directly into Office 365 and Azure while also launching security-centric products. MSSP Solutions: Microsoft has had hit-and-miss relationships with MSPs but things are improving. The Office 365 partner program is finally CSP friendly. But we haven't heard much about a high-end security push with MSSPs.
Bottom Line for Challenges: Of the two companies in Gartner's Challenger category, both Microsoft and McAfee have mended fences with MSPs in recent quarters. But a full-blown MSSP push? We'll be watching.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms: Visionaries

Here are the companies that Gartner mentioned for the visionaries quadrant. Commentary is MSSP Alert's.
  • Carbon Black: The company in early May 2017 launched Cb Protection 8.0, an updated application control solution that automates lockdown of data center servers, the company claims. Previous Cb Protection releases are deployed on 4 million computers worldwide, Carbon Black says. MSSP Solutions: Refreshingly, the company is focused like a laser on MSSPs.
  • CrowdStrike: CrowdStrike, which raised $100 million in May 2017, combines endpoint protection with "expert intelligence" to pinpoint the adversaries perpetrating the attacks, not just the malware, the company claims. MSSP Solutions: In some respects, CrowdStrike is an MSSP -- though the company has a growing base of MSPs.
  • Cylance: The company is known for its AI-powered threat prevention. Among the latest additions: CylanceOptics, an AI-powered endpoint detection and response (EDR) solution that augments the prevention capabilities of its Protect platform. MSSP Solutions: Cylance also is focused like a laser on MSSP success.
  • Invincea: Invincea develops a machine-learning anti-virus platform. MSSP Solutions: Good news here. Invincea is now owned by Sophos (see the leaders quadrant). And the Sophos partner program is extremely MSP- and MSSP-friendly.
  • Palo Alto Networks: Perhaps best known for its firewalls, Palo Alto Networks also has a large, loyal channel partner base. MSSP Solutions: Palo Alto Networks has quietly tested and built an MSSP Partner Program, which Channel Chief Ron Myers described to ChannelE2E (our sister site) in February 2017. Yes, big MSSPs are onboard. Key adopters include AT&T, BT and Verizon.
  • SentinelOne: SentinelOne’s software delivers deep inspection of system processes combined with machine learning to isolate malicious behaviors, protecting devices against advanced, targeted threats in real time, the company claims. MSSP Solutions: Yes, the company has a growing partner program. At first glance, the portal is pretty generic. But take a closer look and you'll notice MSSPs as a recognized partner type.
Bottom Line for Visionaries: Take a closer look at each of Gartner's Visionary quadrant members. What do they have in common? The answer involves a true partner push for MSSPs. 

Continue to page 3 of 3 for the Leaders Quadrant and concluding thoughts.

Welcome to page 3 of 3. Here's the Leaders Quadrant and concluding thoughts.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms: Leaders

Here are the companies that Gartner mentioned for the leaders quadrant. Commentary is MSSP Alert's.
  • Kaspersky Lab: Kaspersky has dabbled with MSPs for several years, hosting them at partner summits and integrating with a range of MSP-centric software tools. But a 'massive' MSP-centric push has yet to materialize. MSSP Solutions: Still, there are real signs of progress -- including this MSP partner program.
  • Sophos: Poke around the endpoint security market. I could be wrong but I believe Sophos is the only company in the sector that has a VP of MSP onboard. In this case, his name is Scott Barlow. Sophos upped its MSP partner program in a serious way after acquiring Reflexion Networks in 2015. MSSP Solutions: All the details about the Sophos MSP Connect Partner Program are captured here.
  • Symantec: Symantec is another security company that has been in and around the MSP market, occasionally popping up at conferences like ConnectWise IT Nation. MSSP Solutions: No doubt, Symantec has strong relationships with big MSSP service providers -- telcos and more. But MSP-centric relationships in the SMB sector remain a work in progress. For info, dig into the Symantec.Cloud effort to find service provider program info.
  • Trend Micro: Here again is an example security giant that has worked in and around the MSP world for at least a decade. Although the company doesn't always market its MSP wares, many of Trend Micro's solutions have had "as a service" partner components for nearly a decade. MSSP Solutions: You'll find partner program info here, though the partner icon on Trend Micro's homepage needs a serious boost.
Bottom Line for Leaders: Take a closer look at each of Gartner's Leaders quadrant members. Overall, Sophos seems to be betting the heaviest on MSP and MSSP engagements, though the other three leader members have MSP experience. That's our take on Gartner's report and the associated MSSP offerings. Got a different take? Post a comment or email me ([email protected]). PS: You can find the complete Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms (2017) here.    
Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.