Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Facebook Announces Antivirus Marketplace – Welcomes Multiple Antivirus Vendors to their Facebook Security Family

On April 25, Facebook announced the Antivirus Marketplace.  The antivirus vendors that will be partners in this and be members   of the Facebook Security Family are -   McAfee, Trend Micro, Sophos, and Symantec, and Microsoft.  As part of this initiative, Facebook’s URL blacklist system, which scans trillions of clicks per day, will incorporate the malicious URL databases from these five vendors. According to Facebook, "Now, all of Facebook’s more than 900 million users will be protected by the combined intelligence of these industry leaders."
This doesn’t mean that the database will quintuple in size.  Undoubtedly, these databases have a great deal of overlap Trend Micro may offer a unique value add to the combined database given their market share in APAC.  Sophos is a pure business play, so their database may offer some unique additions.
Facebook’s Antivirus Marketplace will allow home users to download six-month licenses to full versions of anti-virus software at no charge from Microsoft, McAfee, Trend Micro, Sophos, or Symantec.  These companies will also be part of the Facebook Security Blog. 

There was no mention regarding frequency of updates.  There was also no discussion as to how these particular vendors were selected.  Four of the ten vendors were in OPSWAT’s  Security Industry Market Share Analysis (March 2012)  top ten with respect to market share.  Only Microsoft was in the top five. Avast (market share leader, and preparing to IPO), Avira (second), and AVG Technologies (third, and with a  grammatically interesting(?)  "We protects us" tagline,) were all left on the sidelines.  To learn about current worldwide and North America market antivirus market shares, go to -

What This All Means

For consumers - some additional protection while on Facebook,   free antivirus software for six months, another source to learn about threats.

For Facebook - a good business decision and good public relations as they work on protecting members of the Facebook community.  The “smartest guys in the room”  putting together the valuation for the Facebook Initial Public Offering (IPO),  may be able to add a bit of an uptick to the offering price.

This may be a good thing in light of Facebook’s   recent revenue announcement.  Facebook posted first quarter 2012 revenues of $1.058 billion, up 45% year over year from $731 million.  However, net income was down, at $205 million, from $233 million in the year-ago period.  Facebook cited seasonal trends and stock based compensation for the decline.  Also, Facebook updated their S-1 on Monday.  Like every S-1, not light reading, running over 160 pages.  

For the companies that were  part of this announcement   - Symantec, Trend Micro, Sophos, Microsoft, and McAfee -  some additional revenue, good PR,  they may  become better buds with Facebook than those vendors not part of the announcement, an opportunity to upgrade home users to a paid version of their antivirus product, or a paid version of one of their internet security suites after six months.  Microsoft only has a free version.

This may help Symantec “a bit” to deflect some negative press resulting from their recent earnings announcement.  Their shares took a substantial hit Tuesday after they lowered their fourth-quarter adjusted earnings and revenue outlook.  They cited weaker demand from its business customers.  Part of the hit may also be due to the fact that Symantec is   shifting their business model to one based more on subscription revenue, rather than the traditional model of selling licenses.

Some interesting discussions may be taking place at the antivirus/internet security vendors not part of the announcement.

To learn about OPSWAT, go to

No comments: