Thursday, January 19, 2012

Webroot Kills E-mail Security Service, Plans End-Point Offensive

Webroot notified its US resellers on around January 18 that it intended to exit the e-mail security service business. This is in favor of an aggressive endpoint security offensive. This offensive will be spearheaded by a new anti-malware solution for businesses. This was according to a letter viewed by CRN.

"Webroot is exiting the e-mail security business. We will not accept new business orders or renewals for this service," the company stated in the letter.

Webroot moved quickly. According to a January 19 CRN article, they have sold their archiving business to Sonian. Sonian will add about 1,000 customers as a result of the transaction. Financial terms weren’t given.

Webroot’s new business anti-malware product line, will be based on the Webroot SecureAnywhere consumer offering. The anti-malware business solution will have Webroot going against larger anti-malware competitors such Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro, and Sophos. The product will be going into beta in February, it appears.

Some Work For Webroot to Do

Exciting stuff. The 800 pound gorillas in the industry will have a new competitor in the business space. However, Webroot may have some work to do regarding this new product, whether it’s improving the scan engine, extending protection to the cloud, improving heuristics, whatever. Below are some results from leading test organizations. The tests took place in the latter half of 2011.

Virus Bulletin – Failed to receive a VB100 award in the December 11 test on Windows 7. – Passed the Nov/Dec test on Windows 7. However, its scores (out of 6) weren’t stellar. 4.0 for Protection, 3.5 for Repair, and 4.0 for Usability. – Webroot came in 17th overall in the August through November Whole Product “Real-World” Dynamic Protection Test. – Anti-Virus Comparative Summary Report 2011. In 9 tests, Webroot received on Adv+ score for performance (AV), an Adv score for the removal test, and Std for performance (suite). Webroot received Tested or N.A. on the remaining tests. – In the Anti-Virus Comparative, Malware Removal Test (December), Webroot came in 7th out of 18 overall with an Advanced (2 stars out of 3) rating.

There are other tests on the website, as well.

While positive reviews from PC Magazine are great, businesses pay more attention to 3rd party test results than consumers do. Also, other competitors have been aggressive in moving scanning and heuristic activity to the cloud. Webroots products were the recommended/preferred product of Best Buy's Geek Squad for awhile.

PC Magazine gave Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete 4.5 stars out of 5 as its top consumer product.

PC Magazine also gave 4.5 stars to SecureAnywhere Complete Antivirus 2012. Both products received Editors Choice designations from PC Magazine.

About AV-Comparatives

AV-Comparatives is an Austrian Non-Profit-Organization, which provides independent Anti-Virus software tests free to the public.

Go to the AV-comparatives website for complete details about the organization, the many tests they perform, and to download copies of reports.

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