Neil MacDonald

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Neil MacDonald
VP & Gartner Fellow
15 years at Gartner
25 years IT industry

Neil MacDonald is a vice president, distinguished analyst and Gartner Fellow in Gartner Research. Mr. MacDonald is a member of Gartner's information security and privacy research team, focusing on operating system and application-level security strategies. Specific research areas include Windows security…Read Full Bio

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Stop Paying for Anti-Spyware

by Neil MacDonald  |  May 18, 2009  |  1 Comment

I had a conversation with a client last week where their incumbent antivirus provider was trying to charge them separately for antispyware capabilities in addition to their antivirus solution.

Sigh. I thought we put this issue to rest years ago.

In 2005, I wrote ”How to Get Free Anti-spyware (or Antivirus) Protection” so I was a bit disappointed to see these pricing practices still going on. From this 2005 note:

Antivirus vendors have charged you more for anti-spyware to this point because they could. Now, whether you get free anti-spyware from your incumbent antivirus vendor or you get free antivirus protection from your anti-spyware vendor, the combination of antivirus and anti-spyware functionality should cost you no more than what you paid for stand-alone antivirus.

Most of the vendors in the anti-malware space understand the market dynamics and have moved to comprehensive “Endpoint Protection Platforms” where the vendors provide us a platform for multiple styles of protection to pick and choose from – firewalling, antivirus, antispyware, host-based intrusion prevention, application control, device control and so on. There is no sustainable market for standalone antispyware and no reason you should be paying separately for it. The future is in the Endpoint Protection Platform (by the way, we just published our comprehensive evaluation of all of the EPP solutions).

If your vendor wants to try to charge you separately for antispyware, switch. Yes, there’s a cost to switching, but you’ll find that most competitive displacement bids save more than the cost to switch.

If you don’t switch, use a free antispyware solution like Microsoft’s free Windows Defender antispyware solution – either use it as a negotiating tool to get your existing vendor to give you their antispyware solution at no cost or just download the solution and use it for free.

Either way, we don’t need to pay separately for antispyware.

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Category: Beyond Anti-Virus Endpoint Protection Platform     Tags: , ,

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