Kaspersky Woos North American Partners, Cites Growth, Innovation

Kaspersky Lab has seen double-digit growth for endpoint security software despite economic pressures that are shrinking the market, according to Kaspersky executives addressing channel partners at its Kaspersky Lab 6th Annual North American Partner Conference held in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Kaspersky Lab has maintained double-digit growth, coming in with 10 percent growth for the sixth year in a row, while the growth rate for the security market has been slowing down, Kaspersky North America President Steve Orenberg told channel partners today. Orenberg said the company has focused on its core endpoint security product, ensuring that it offers comprehensive data protection and is easy to deploy and manage, while investing in a robust threat research team that is constantly finding and dissecting new and more sophisticated cyberattacks.

"We're a security company that is very focused on endpoint security," Orenberg told about 150 channel partners Friday. "We build very robust endpoint protection technology and we're not trying to broaden our portfolio with other security technologies; that's not what we do."

[Related: Kaspersky Promotes Channel Chief, Marketing Lead ]

Sponsored post

Orenberg said the company's channel partners were a key part of its growth. The company announced new incentives under its channel program at the conference. Its SE2SE Program, a monthly education series on technical topics, will reward pre-sales systems engineers who pass an exam following the online program. Those who pass will be eligible for a bonus payout for sales they influence from $25 to $200 per deal. The security firm is also adding short-term enticements for partners, doubling its incentive payments to all Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Businesses, Advanced and Total platform sales through March 31. The Kaspersky lead-generation program will also receive an increased investment in 2013 to increase sales leads.

The theme of the partner conference, "Breaking Away," is a reference, according to Orenberg, to Kaspersky Lab's increase in market share against its competitors, Symantec, McAfee, Sophos and Trend Micro. The company is going to have some challenges ahead as it tries to reposition its channel program to move up the market into the larger enterprise space, said Pete Lindstrom, principal and vice president of research for Spire Security. Lindstrom said the company has built on its antimalware base, bolting on virtual intrusion detection and prevention, full disk encryption and adding data loss prevention capabilities.

"Their endpoint security play is strong on the consumer side and SMB side," Lindstrom said. "They'll have to figure out what they want to be if they want to further position themselves against the big boys and get a broader piece of the big market."

NEXT: Kaspersky Announces Product Updates

In January, the company announced an update to its endpoint security suite, adding a centralized management console for its mobile device management, file, folder and full disk data encryption capabilities. A policy control application was added to set controls for removable storage devices. Systems management tools were built out for licensing, OS installation, inventory management and remote administration. A new management console also brings together Kaspersky's endpoint, file server and virtual infrastructure protection.

John Oetinger of the Missoula, Mont.-based Corporate Technology Group, a Kaspersky Partner, said his firm has seen success with the security vendor as well as Sophos. Oetinger said his firm mainly services small and midsize businesses and said he is constantly reading analyst reports so he can give potential clients sound advice about their security technology options. "Every client has different needs," Oetinger said. "In the end you can only work to guide them in the learning process."

Spire Security's Lindstrom said Kaspersky might turn away from smaller firms like Corporate Technology Group and look to increase its attention on larger partners and service providers as well as focus on OEM deals with security appliance vendors. Kaspersky Lab's Orenberg gave no indication that the company would make major changes to its channel strategy.

"Channel is our crown jewels, and you guys are the ones helping us break away from our competition," Orenberg told conference attendees. "We've moved up while many of our competitors have moved down, and we're proud to be one of the fastest-growing large security vendors."