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Different Security Horses for Different Security Courses

by John Pescatore  |  October 27, 2010  |  1 Comment

Last year I took advantage of the Cash for Clunkers program in the US and traded my 1997 pickup truck in for a new station wagon. I looked at Ford, Subaru, Toyota and many other major car manufacturers. I did not look at Bayliner, Boston Whaler, Grady White, Wellcraft or any other major boat manufacturers.

This year I bought a boat – and guess what? I only looked at boat manufacturers, didn’t look at any car manufacturers. Now, I may be narrow-minded – after all, boats and cars are just slightly different forms of transportation… But in general, I’ve found that car makers produce lousy boats and boat companies aren’t all that hot at making cars.

So, I’m always amazed when network infrastructure vendors like Cisco and Juniper build security solutions that try to get us to put their software on our endpoints, and when software vendors like IBM Tivoli or CA acquire and try to sell network security products. These strategies always end badly – it is why the McLobster sandwich and the Nobu Whopper never did well either…

To take this analogy a bit too far, I could have  bought a boat-car instead and saved a boat-load (or car-load)  of money. Of course, that would have given me the worst of both worlds – which is often what happens when infrastructure vendors acquire security companies.


John Pescatore
VP Distinguished Analyst
11 years at Gartner
32 years IT industry

John Pescatore is a vice president and research fellow in Gartner Research. Mr. Pescatore has 32 years of experience in computer, network and information security. Prior to joining Gartner, Mr. Pescatore was senior consultant for Entrust Technologies and Trusted Information Systems… Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Different Security Horses for Different Security Courses

  1. Great post Jay. I think Twitter’s demise is grossly over-reported. While they may be struggling to maintain the subscriber growth Wall Street built into their valuation, Twitter occupies a coveted space in the market. As you point out, they own live events and second screen. This is not an insignificant thing. In the age of DVRs, live experiences (sporting events, Oscars, major TV events) are even more desirable and anything that enhances the live experience will be valuable to consumers and advertisers alike. Plus a viable competitor has not yet emerged from the pool of ‘instant’ messaging start-ups. Sure Twitter will need to evolve just as any business does (see: GE, Microsoft, Apple) but they come at it from a unique position in the marketplace which means they stand a very good chance of being successful. Jack’s challenge: Adapt from a position to strength to find even more enticing (and valuable) ways to engage their audience…easier said than done but I’m optimistic he’ll get there

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