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The big security opportunity waiting to be grabbed

By Heather Wright
Wed 20 Jul 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Carbon Black has acquired next generation antivirus company Confer in a deal which dramatically expands the vendor’s total addressable market, opening new doors for its partners across Australia and New Zealand.

Kane Lightowler, Carbon Black Asia Pacific managing director, says the acquisition opens up ‘a whole new opportunity’ for the vendor’s local partners.

The acquisition of Confer adds a next generation antivirus into Carbon Black’s portfolio, which has traditionally serviced the high end security market with a foothold in large telcos, banking, payment processors, government and other organisations with high end security requirements.

“With the acquisition of Confer we have added a next generation antivirus into the portfolio which has both depth from a technology perspective and mass market appeal,” Lightowler says.

“Versus our high end security products, it is much easier to deploy although it is still powerful enough to stop the more sophisticated attacks that the traditional technologies and our competitors are struggling to protect their customers from.”

“Partners now have the ability now to offer a complete platform with Carbon Black’s multiple products in order to be able to provide protection from not just common malware but more sophisticated threats.”

Lightowler says globally the end point security market is ‘north of a US$10 billion market annually, and it’s being disrupted’.

He says traditional security antivirus vendors are failing and cites Gartner’s 2016 Endpoint Protection Magic Quadrant, which said 44% of reference customers ‘from the old guard’ have been compromised in the last year.

“That makes it clear the traditional way of protecting systems is failing,” he says.

“When you’ve got a $10 billion market and 44% of reference customers have had a breach, that’s a pretty significant indicator to suggest that those solutions are no longer effective and there is a massive opportunity here for Carbon Black and some of our peers – and our partners – to either take it to their customers as a managed service, or as a technology in order to help them through this challenge.”

Lightowler says a key issue is the changing threat landscape and the move to more targeted attacks and script- and in-memory based attacks, which render signature-based antivirus protection ‘ineffective’.

“With ransomware and today’s sophisticated attacks, the bad guys build a targeted attack and specifically just use it once against an organisation. That circumvents that model,” he says.

“Resellers have the opportunity to go and educate their customers around that and educate them that the solution to this problem isn’t just a high end security product, now with this acquisition there is an easy simple lightweight way to protect themselves from those types of threats.”

Confer’s offering, which will now be known as Cb Defense, combines behavioural-based prevention techniques with integrated detection and response capabilities. Carbon Black says its cloud-based, deep analytics approach blocks both malware and the increasingly common malware-less attacks exploiting memory and scripting languages, such as PowerShell.

Once malware is blocked Cb Defence provides visibility into how the attack happened, enabling security problems to be fixed pro-actively.

“This acquisition of Confer is in line with our vision of having a world safe from cyberattacks,” Lightowler says. “In order to do that we believe we need to deliver a complete endpoint security platform and this is a step towards that.

We believe it is a pretty transformational moment for Carbon Black as it dramatically increases that market opportunity that we have.

It’s great for the channel because their customers are struggling. It’s an opportunity for the channel to increase their revenue and protect their customers and it’s a pretty pivotal moment.”

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