Whether the attack itself is via infected email attachments, phishing scams, or even email bombs used to carry out DDoS-like attacks, the inbox is the place you’re statistically most likely to encounter a threat.
But email is also a vital element of most (if not all) organisations, and while employees should be able to recognise and avoid the most obvious scams, phishing attempts generally are becoming more sophisticated, with spear-phishing and business email compromise attacks being particularly difficult for the average employee to recognise.
As these attacks rely on tricking the victim into actions which bypass other protection methods, and no company can realistically rely on each employee maintaining a state of constant cyber-vigilance, it is vital that information security teams are able to secure this attack vector.
As in the endpoint security category, Symantec stands out ahead of its competitors. In this area, Symantec received 23% of all votes cast – though interestingly, several of these votes in fact name Blue Coat Systems and MessageLabs, which are now owned by Symantec.
The runners up in this category were Cisco, Trend Micro and Barracuda Networks. Other nominees included Fortinet, McAfee, FireEye, Mimecast, PhishMe (now Cofense) and Proofpoint.
We’ve discussed on several occasions the trend for acquisition in the cybersecurity space. Our ‘Who Secures The UAE’ report found that cybersecurity practitioners consider vendor sprawl to be a serious problem – over 40% of participants said that there are too many undifferentiated vendors in the market. In terms of choosing which vendors to work with, and subsequently managing multiple contracts and relationships with every vendor in their oversized security stack, the time and resources required are significant.
Particularly in recent years, large cybersecurity providers such as Symantec and Cisco have been engaging in diversification through acquisition, buying up rivals and startups to improve and expand their own offerings. The success of this strategy can be seen in Symantec’s success in this category.
These results are also borne out by some less formal data we collected – when we received replies to our survey-related emails which included clearly visible information such as ‘This email has been scanned for viruses by [company name]’, we made a note of how often specific names came up.
MessageLabs appeared in 45% of these emails, with the next most popular being (in order) Forcepoint, FireEye, and Barracuda Networks.
While this method doesn’t give reliable statistics on which solutions are used (many people, especially in IT, will remove this footer text) it does suggest that Symantec’s high rating in this area is reflected in purchasing decisions.