‘Trustworthiness’ Critical When Sizing Up Vendors

‘Trustworthiness’ Critical When Sizing Up Vendors

2112 research reveals that security resellers look beyond product quality when assessing vendor merit.

By Larry Walsh

In information security, technologies and vendors are often judged on their capabilities and performance. In security channel relationships, security vendors are evaluated on their marketability and revenue potential. And an often overlooked yet critical factor is the trustworthiness of a security vendor.

In our exclusive 2112 Endpoint Protection Vendor Trustworthiness Report, The 2112 Group looks at the impact of trust in the vendor-reseller relationship. The results of two surveys conducted over a six-month period reveal that an endpoint vendor’s trustworthiness – whether it’s considered capable of carrying out misdeeds related to technology, operations, or partner and customer relationships – is a critical factor to security resellers.

The 2112 Group conducted these surveys following a string of reports that alleged endpoint security vendors were colluding with government security agencies on mass surveillance programs, hacking, or sabotaging competitors to gain a competitive advantage and compromising user data for financial gain. The studies found that trustworthiness is second only to product quality in importance to security resellers and solution providers.

The impact of allegations or incidents of compromised trust varies depending on the source. The research found that cooperation on government surveillance more severely tarnished endpoint security vendor trustworthiness than allegations of hacking. Nevertheless, the net impact is the same – questions of trust dampen partner perceptions of endpoint security vendors in terms of marketability and go-to-market relationships.

More alarming still is how commonplace endpoint security resellers think malicious disruptions actually are. Three-quarters of surveyed endpoint security resellers think their vendors have or could have engaged in hacking or sabotage of a competitor to gain a market advantage. And one-quarter believe their vendors have engaged in competitive hacking.

All endpoint security vendors likely will say they never engage in competitive hacking, but resellers and solution providers say every major vendor is suspected of having engaged in digital skullduggery.

While trustworthiness of respective vendors varies, solution providers say most of the major security vendors have strong performance and technology attributes that make them worth representing.

  • Symantec and Kaspersky Lab are seen as having the best technology for detecting malware and advanced persistent threats.
  • Intel Security has the most loyal endpoint security resellers.
  • Symantec and Intel Security are seen as the most marketable endpoint security brands.
  • Kaspersky Lab and Trend Micro are seen as having the most profit potential for partners.

Complimentary copies of the 2112 Endpoint Protection Vendor Trustworthiness Report are available at HERE. Additional analyses, such as detailed data breakdowns per vendor, competitive comparative analyses, and trustworthiness perceptions by solution provider size, are available. For more information, contact [email protected].


Larry Walsh, The 2112 GroupLarry Walsh is the founder, CEO and chief analyst of The 2112 Group. Follow him on social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.