In many ways a new range of products is only as efficient as the campaign used to market it.
The concept or message has to stand out, it has to be noticeable and memorable and most of all, it is nice if someone notices it. Two that particularly stand out in recent times are those from Webroot and Check Point, Webroot encouraged the security industry to turn itself upside down (if it had not already) while Check Point pointed at 3D security to incorporate people, policy and enforcement.
I spoke with Gerhard Eschelbeck, CTO of Webroot at the Infosecurity Europe show in April about the upside down concept, asking initially if that was what it was. “The theme is adopted from a visibility to create awareness on the challenges that the security industry is facing, words are being used but it is not clear what things do,” he said.
“There is a real need to build clarity on solutions and what their limitations and capabilities are. Some articles are ‘jargon-ised' and what is happening is people are using ‘techno-lingo' and they need to realise that technology has limitations. It is getting more complex.”
Eschelbeck confirmed that this is an awareness campaign, a concept, but something that the company plans to stick with for 2011. He said: “It is a concept to raise awareness and a topic is and will continue throughout, it is not just a one time thing.”
A pretty straightforward idea – if it doesn't make sense you try and make sense of it and if that does not work you flip it over and start again. Well, true in a sense, but what Webroot are suggesting is that rather that rebuild security from scratch you can consider a different perspective, although it does involve a rush of blood to the head.
Not completely different is the 3D security concept from Check Point. Launched at the company's conference earlier this month in Barcelona, CEO and founder Gil Shwed agreed in part with Webroot that security does not need to be redone, rather work more efficiently with modern challenges.
He said: “We want to propose an agenda that is not centred around our products. We have plenty of things that we are dealing with every day and what we want to do is provide a higher level vision of what we think about. We want to import the visions in our product in time, but the main vision is not about the product you are using.
“We still need quality things but people are important, policy is important and technology is important and at a high level we need to start with policy and understand what we are trying to achieve, rather than hearing about a security problem and thinking ‘let's implement another security product'. The first thing is what is the policy and the second is that people are a political element.”
So while not as potentially revolutionary as Webroot's proposal, Check Point is pointing out three areas that relate to its UserCheck technology that aims to go beyond policy to educating users.
So is there an element of promotion and brand marketing in these ideas? Of course, after all both companies want to stand out and be used by customers but at the same time it takes a brave company to say ‘let's do it differently' and expect an honest rather than critical response.