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Integrated security suites neither integrated nor sweet

The big trend in the security market these days is the “integrated security suite” — a packaged software offering that promises to “reduce complexity, make for easier deployments and give customers comprehensive, end-to-end protection,” or some marketing mumbo-jumbo like that.

But a new Forrester Research report says, by and large, these integrated suites are neither integrated nor sweet. And that’s good news for security solutions providers.

The report — “Market Overview: Content Security Suites,” by principal analyst Chenxi Wang — says the idea of an integrated security suite is a good one, but the ones on the market today haven’t lived up to the promise. Although most offer some combination of antivirus, antispam, data leak prevention, encryption and archiving, they often skimp on management, reporting and integration across networks and endpoints.

There are two ways to look at the trend towards integrated security suites. Vendors say the more they integrate on their end, the easier it is for channel partners to make sales. And they acknowledge that no suite can meet every customer’s security needs.

On the flip side, partners make more money on integration services than on straight product sales, and these integrated security suites could take away those opportunities. That’s a totally valid concern, but as long as these suites remain “immature,” as Wang calls them, there should be plenty of integration work to go around for security VARs.

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