Security Award Winner: Webroot

Ask any security vendor if they would rather be described as innovative or reliable, and nine out of ten times their answer is likely to be the latter. Webroot, winner of this year’s Security Innovation Award, proudly claims that it successfully balances both.

The US vendor’s flagship email and web security solutions are delivered using the software-as-a-service model. According to EMEA manager Mark Tickle, this makes Webroot a particularly appealing proposition for small to medium-sized enterprises with limited resources.

“SaaS resonates very well with the smaller customer who can’t afford to invest in a large IT department that has lots of staff maintaining firewalls and server infrastructure,” he says. Tickle adds that the company’s utility-based pricing model allows customers to pay only for the licences they need.

One of Webroot’s customers is facilities management and security provider Reliance Security Group. Reliance says that it chose Webroot for its breadth of functionality, including its ability to address Reliance’s mobile security concerns.

As employees use a widening variety of mobile devices in their work, managing security becomes ever more complex. Says Tickle, “Mobile security is a growing concern for organisations, because of the number of different mobile devices that they have.”

He argues that Webroot’s success to date reflects in part its innovative approach to mobile security. The company’s Desktop Web Proxy software, for example, automatically provides corporate laptops with enterprise-grade security when users log on outside the office and not through a virtual private network.

At the moment, the vendor is developing solutions to protect an extended set of mobile devices not normally considered business friendly. These include Apple’s popular iPhone and smartphones based on Google’s Android OS. “The goal will be that whatever device you’ve got, if you’re connecting to the Internet then we’ll be able to protect you at the source,” explains Tickle.

Reliance was also attracted to Webroot’s ease of use and its levels of customer support. For example, so confident is the supplier of the reliability of its solutions that it vows in its service level agreements that the customer will not be infected with viruses or malware at any point while using them.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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