That 11 of the vendors were cast aside before the data was examined is most likely a reflection of the familiarity of those firms within North America – the majority of respondents are based on this side of the planet – more than a comment on the quality of those vendors' offerings, he suggests. And yet, scoring closely behind Kaspersky Lab and Sophos were Avast Software and upstart Malwarebytes. These latter companies scored high in this survey for malware removal – 4.5 out of five – the highest score in the category.
Symantec and McAfee are the most widely used vendors, but 46 percent of respondents are considering replacing them or adding a vendor to complement their solutions. The survey results would suggest that when it came to actual features and performance, the most recognizable names were considered to be "middle of the pack".
"Some of the smaller companies that aren't necessarily household names for the endpoint and antivirus market, such as Malwarebytes and Avast, did quite well on the performance ratings as opposed to the big players like Symantec and McAfee," says Marko. "At least when it comes to performance and effectiveness of the products as perceived by our respondents, the more expensive products didn't necessarily do a better job and didn't do as well of a job."
Thus there could be enough wiggle room for the lesser-known security startups to seize upon the opportunity to make a dent in the market.
"To target enterprise customers, they're going to have to focus on some of the management capabilities in order to differentiate themselves," he continues. "There's parity, it seems to me, across the vendors as to how well they detect, prevent, and eradicate malware.
"In terms of vendors, bigger wasn't necessarily better."