Security has become arguably the most important technology market for businesses today. The last few years have seen a rise in sophisticated malware, devastating data breaches and high-profile hacktivist attacks for companies of all shapes and sizes as well as government agencies. So it's no surprise that security software for client devices has become an incredibly competitive market these days.
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But one vendor rose above the rest in this year's Annual Report Card awards in the Client Security Software category: Kaspersky Lab. The software maker, which has gained significant notoriety and market share in recent years, dethroned the 2011 ARC winner Sophos after finishing a close second last year. While Kaspersky split the product innovation subcategories with Sophos, it dominated the product and support criteria, sweeping all areas except one.
Kaspersky has been keeping busy this year; the security company has branched out beyond its staunch antivirus product line with new offerings for virtualized environments (Kaspersky Security for Virtualization) and mobile devices (Kaspersky Mobile Security), concentrating, in particular, on Android devices and the flood of malware targeting Google's mobile OS.
But the software maker also has been on the front lines of the latest wave of super malware and established itself this year as a leading voice in the security research field. Kaspersky researchers were the first to identify the notorious Flame worm last spring, which affected corporate and government networks across the Middle East.
"We're taking a leadership role in the security community on that front," said Chris Doggett, vice president of North American channel sales at Kaspersky. "And we've found that it helps us with the partners who follow our research and security findings."
Doggett also said partners should expect Kaspersky to continue to build strong technology in house instead of making acquisitions and cobbling the pieces together. "None of our competitors have the kind of internally-built, homegrown products we do," he said.