Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hewlett Packard to Expand Razor Product Line

Whoops, I meant their printer product line.  This expansion could  generate a fair amount of ink cartridge revenue for Hewlett Packard, as well.  "We haven't had a new product lineup in seven years," said HP CEO Meg Whitman in talking about Hewlett Packard’s plan to announce a new line of printers.  "It was very obvious that we had a product gap here."

Hewlett Packard will be introducing multi-function machines that combine printers with scanners and software to manage electronic documents.  The software will come from their Autonomy group.  The rumored price point, around $2500 to $3000, and targeted at small businesses and groups within larger companies.

In IDC's  “MarketScape: U.S. Shared, Networked Multifunction Peripherals for the Distributed Office 2012 Vendor Analysis” (Doc # 235820).  Companies in the Leaders quadrant include Xerox, Rico, HP, and Canon.  Konica/Minolta are close behind as Major Players.  IDC’s quadrant displays a company’s market share graphed against Capabilities and Strategies.  The Capabilities score measures vendor product, go-to-market and business execution in the short-term.  The Strategy score measures alignment of vendor strategies with customer requirements in a three to five year timeframe. Whitman's announcement will help keep HP in this section of the quadrant.

This announcement may portend good things for Todd Bradley,  head of HP’s printer and personal-computer businesses.  The printing unit has brought in over $25 billion in revenues to HP. Under the Hurd regime, R&D  suffered, dropping from  $3.7 billion to $3 billion between 2003 and 2010.  More will be spent under the Whitman regime.

Whitman also telegraphed some of her other strategies for the next couple of years  while speaking at the Gartner US Symposium/Txpo, held in Orlando.  She stated that HP would probably not release a smartphone until 2014.  She also expects HP to be a major contender in the tablet and mobile PC markets.

“There will be ups and downs in this business," Whitman said.  "PCs may be declining.  Tablets may be growing.  The business definition here is 'personal systems.’  It's not PCs.  It's personal systems.  And we think we can win.”  Whitman didn’t comment on which OS the smartphones will use.

Hewlett Packard’s stock decline has been steeper than the double diamond ski  runs at Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe, California.  On October 26, the stock hit another 52-week low of $13.94.  This represents a 52-week decline of around 50%.  Competitor Dell has had a slide of almost 45% over the same period and also had another 52-week low of $9.19.

Whitman and Hewlett Packard need to make some bold moves.  She  said when she became CEO   that turning Hewlett Packard around would be a multi-year effort.  She’s now just into her second year at the helm.  There may not be a third if things don’t start improving.

“Hewlett Packard and Meg Whitman – The First Year. Turbulence and Turmoil in the Valley” at

Internet Security Companies and Test Groups – Market Current Tests and Current Releases

It's October and most major internet security providers have released their Internet Security Suite 2013 solutions.  This includes AVG Technologies, Avira, Kaspersky, Panda,  TrustPort, Norton, Symantec, Trend Micro,  and G Data.  Avast hasn’t released their 2013 product line yet. 

Why  is ITwhitepapers.com  sending out an email  -  “PassMark Software conducted objective performance testing on five publicly available Enterprise Endpoint Protection products and a RTM version of Symantec Endpoint Protection 12 on Windows 7 between September 2010 and July 2011”  inviting me to download an old report?

First – the dates encompass September 2010 through July 2011.  Second – It’s now October 2012. Third – the test is on Windows 7.  Why promote  a white paper published in  July 2011?    IMHO, this report has limited utility.  Symantec, sponsor of the “Endpoint Protection Enterprise Benchmarks” study,    received the highest score among the products tested.   

Look for results from www.virusbtn.com , www.av-test.org , and www.av-comparatives.org , to start appearing in the near future using Internet Security Suite 2013 and Antivirus 2013 solutions.  AV-comparatives has posted some reports that include   2013 solutions already.  Their October “AV-Comparative Performance Test” is available.  Webroot, ESET, and Avast came in first through third.  Trend Micro trailed the pack.  This test used antivirus products. 

You can also view   current results of the AV-Comparatives   “Whole Product Dynamic Real World Detection Test”.  You can select your own timeframe to generate a graph incorporating results for 20 internet security vendors.

Another source of information for current releases is at www.pcmag.com where Neil Rubenking has been busy reviewing products. 

Demerits for ITwhitepapers.com (and possibly Symantec).  One week in a virtual online corner for pushing old test reports, particularly  in a rapidly changing environment, internet security.  


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Whole Product Dynamic Real World Protection Test – July through September 2012

The nice thing about the  Whole Product Dynamic Real World Protection Test done by AV-Comparatives.org is that you can select the timeframe.  The advantage   of a 3-month report is that it better portrays the products’ performances.  The top five over the July through September time period were: 

  1. F-Secure
  2. Trend Micro
  3. BitDefender
  4. G Data
  5. Kaspersky

The range for the percentage blocked for the top five went from 99.9% for F-Secure to 99.0% for Kaspersky.  Congratulations to the top five!  There was a bit of a change from the previous three months, when the top products, in order were from BitDefender, G Data, Kaspersky, QiHoo, and F-Secure. Look for a four month cumulative report from AV-comparatives  in November.

Ahnlab and Webroot repeated their performances in the “why did I participate in this” spots, finishing in the  twentieth and twenty first positions with block rates of  92.5% and 89.8%.

In the battle of  the free antivirus software vendors, Avira (95.7% block rate) in the tenth position topped Avast and AVG Technologies, in that order.

As always,  the Whole Product Real World Protection Test is  one test.  Individuals or companies evaluating the ability of products to detect and capture malware should visit www.av-comparatives.org , www.virusbtn.com  and www.av-test.org   to view the results of other tests.  These   organizations   use relatively large samples in testing, which improves the legitimacy of the results.  All are more valid than the number of likes on a Facebook fan page.  There is more to product quality than a number of "likes" on a Facebook fan page.

Webroot isn't fond of most real world tests, commenting in a July  blog  "Webroot Bulletin Regarding AV-Comparatives Results" that,  "Currently most “Real World” tests rely on automation and AV scanners are only given a single chance at detection before the test system is reverted for the next round of testing. Unfortunately this testing model doesn’t give WSA a chance to leverage our unique cloud approach as it has a very static view of the files being tested." They also stated that, "Webroot continues to drive innovation in our products though this isn’t always met with equal innovation in the testing process."  To read the complete blog, go to, http://blog.webroot.com/2012/07/19/webroot-bulletin-regarding-av-comparatives-results/

About AV-comparatives     www.av-comparatives.org

AV-Comparatives is an Austrian Non-Profit-Organization, which is providing independent Antivirus software tests free to the public.  Go to their website to view all the great comparative reports and surveys they publish.  In September, they published their File Detection Test of Malicious Software.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fun and Excitement on the Next Generation Firewall Front

The Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) market place  is getting a little more exciting these days.  NSS Labs  has released their NGFW Comparative Analysis 2012.  It’s available on their website for $3,500, pre coupon!

Key Findings of the   NSS  NGFW Comparative Analysis 2012  Report
  1. Few NGFWs are ready for “prime time”: Only 50% of the NFGWs tested scored over 90% in security effectiveness vs. 75% of major IPS vendors in the dedicated IPS group.
  2. Convenient configurations mean less protection: NSS Labs research shows that IPS features in NGFWs are seldom tuned and the devices are often deployed using vendors’ default or recommended policy settings, creating significant gaps in coverage between NGFWs and dedicated firewall and IPS devices.
  3. Vendor claims are often exaggerated: Of the eight  products tested, five performed well below vendors’ throughput claims.  Maximum connection rates were lower than preferred in all products tested - revealing a major concern; NGFWs must improve performance before they are ready for large enterprise deployments
This Comparative Analysis Report  2012 consists of five sections, covering the following topics in-depth: Security Value Map (SVM), Security, Performance, Management,   and Total cost of ownership (TCO).  

Tested Products
  •     Barracuda F-900
  •     Check Point 12600
  •     DELL SonicWALL SuperMassive E10800
  •     Fortinet FortiGate 3140B
  •     Juniper Networks SRX 3600
  •     Palo Alto Networks PA-5020
  •     Sourcefire 8250
  •     Stonesoft FW-1301
Only two products were positioned in the Leaders portion of the December 2011 Gartner Magic Quadrant for the “Enterprise Network Firewall”.   Gartner takes great care to explain that products in other portions of the Magic Quadrant  can be best for a given customer.

NGFW Events  over the Last Several Months

In early July, Dell SonicWALL announced that their NGFW appliance was the first   to receive NGFW certification. SonicWall was a top performer on the NSS Next Generation Firewall Security Value Map.

In early October, Barracuda Networks  raised $130 million from Sequoia Capital and Francisco Partners.  The proceeds will help them   with  expansion and provide cash to founders and early employees. 

“They’ve done a wonderful job of putting together a value proposition and creating a solution that’s often a 10th the cost” of traditional products, said Jim Goetz, a partner at Sequoia and a Barracuda director.  Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the offing?  Barracuda has a base of 150,000 customers.  They won SearchSecurity's Readers' Choice Bronze Award for Best of Web Application Firewalls 2012 in mid October (this is different from their NGFW solutions).  Barracuda topped both Fortinet and Juniper on the   NSS 2012 "Next Generation Firewall Security Value Map". This was released during RSA San Francisco.
In early October, Check Point issued a press release stating that IDC Data in the latest IDC Worldwide Q2 2012 Security Appliance Tracker, that they lead the global market with 20.9% Firewall and UTM appliance revenue share.  They also stated that they are the leader in Firewall and UTM factory revenue in US with  a 22.1% share and Western Europe with a  29.8% share.

Fortinet rolled out their Fortinet second generation FortiASIC-SoC2 this week.  Groundbreaking performance!  Double the processing capacity!  They also rolled out their new Fortinet FortiOS 5.0 operating system.  Enabling more security!  Additional intelligence to fight advanced threats and secure BYOD (Bring your own Device) environments!  On the    "Next Generation Firewall Security Value Map",   Fortinet had  great Block Rate but a high Price per Protected Mbps.   

The rumor mill has Juniper Networks reportedly considering putting itself   up for sale.  Early names floating around as acquirers, EMC (this one is being panned), Brocade, and Arista.  Nonetheless, the stocked jumped 11% because of the rumors. 

A Juniper Networks patent suit is slowly working its way through the system, with a trial date set for February 2013.  There are a handful of patents being contested.  Palo Alto Networks founders Nir Zuk and Yuming Mao left Juniper to start Palo Alto Networks.  Juniper Networks was outperformed by everyone on the "Value Map".

Channelnomics has a nice summary about Juniper Networks, Palo Alto Networks suit  at http://channelnomics.com/2012/10/19/patent-list-grows-slow-juniper-palo-alto-suit/
Palo Alto Networks has been as high as $73 this year since closing at around $51 when they went public. They closed at $62 on October 19.

Look for lots of spin to take place with the  NSS  Comparative Analysis report over the next couple of months.  It's a comprehensive document. 

Becoming Learned on  the NGFW

Sourcefire is making NSS’s evaluation of their product available at https://info.sourcefire.com/2012NSSLabsNGFW.html

It’s several months old, but an additional nice source of information is the  NSS “2012 Next Generation Firewall Security Value Map”, released by NSS Labs during RSA San Francisco.  http://o-www.sonicwall.com/us/en/14233.html , which graphs Block Rate versus Price per Protected Mbps.

Want to learn more about evaluating NGFWs?  NSS has a relatively neutral document “What do You Need to Know about Next Generation Firewalls” at https://www.nsslabs.com/can-next-generation-firewalls-stand-heat

Learn about “Next Generation Firewalls for Dummies” and get a subtle push for the Palo Alto Network NGFW solution at http://connect.paloaltonetworks.com/ngfw-4dummies-EN

A Fortinet 2011 take on “Next-Generation Security for Enterprise Networks” is available at http://www.fortinet.com/next_generation_security_for_enteprise_networks.html