UAE CISOs name Symantec as one of their favourite vendors

In an exclusive research project conducted by AKJ Associates, cybersecurity professionals in the United Arab Emirates have named Symantec one of the top three vendors of security solutions.

Out of a total of 166 vendors named by our participants, Symantec was the third most frequently mentioned provider overall, and received the second most votes when it came to effectiveness in specific risk areas.

Symantec was named the single most effective security solutions provider in three separate areas of risk: the ‘email / messaging security’ category, the ‘web security’ category, and the ‘endpoint security’ category.

In all three of these categories, Symantec stood out well ahead of its competitors, winning over 1/5 of all votes cast in each case. It did particularly well in the ‘endpoint security’ category, in which it received 29% of the vote.

Symantec also proved popular with particular demographics of participants.  Among participants from the construction industry, it was both the top pick for fitting their priorities, and the most mentioned vendor overall. Participants from the government, education, electronics and telecommunication, and trading and manufacturing sectors were also more likely to vote for Symantec, with it being the most mentioned vendor by those in trading and manufacturing.

However, participants in travel and hospitality were less likely to vote for Symantec, and those from the retail and healthcare did not do so at all.

Part of that may come down to the qualities participants from these sectors said they prioritised in a vendor. When participants told us that Symantec best fulfilled their priorities, those priorities were (in descending order): ‘integration with existing systems’, ‘scalability’ and ‘quality of customer support’.

Symantec voters were substantially less likely than others to prioritise affordability – most likely meaning that Symantec voters do not struggle as much as some other participants to get budget. It may reflect that Symantec’s products are seen as being more expensive; however, that may not reflect the price of the products themselves so much as how they fit into IT infrastructure.

As we saw, Symantec did particularly well in certain areas of risk, and integration with other software is a key priority among Symantec voters. We also found that several of Symantec’s votes referred to specific Symantec-owned products, such as Blue Coat or Norton Antivirus – with the same voters often naming multiple products each.

Therefore, it seems likely that Symantec voters were combining multiple ‘best in breed’ solutions – including some from other vendors – for each required task, rather than purchasing a ‘one size fits all’ solution. This is to be expected from organisations with the necessary budget available, but for those with limited resources (including in terms of the human resources required to manage multiple software products and vendor contracts) it presents more of a challenge. This is likely the explanation for the low prioritisation of affordability among Symantec voters.

Researcher, writer, recovering medievalist. Currently particularly interested in the cybersecurity solutions market, cyber insurance/risk modelling, and IoT security.

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