Compliance Purists Stare Down Antivirus Threat

As enterprises wait to see whether the newly elected Congress will soften regulatory guidelines such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2007 and alleviate the strain placed on businesses, anti-virus vendors including McAfee continue to push aggressively into the market for compliance tools.

Over the last year, McAfee and rival Symantec have significantly expanded their product offerings in the compliance segment, with both companies launching new corporate strategies that place related risk management technologies at the center of their future plans.

For more on a related topic, see Study: SarbOx Software Not Taking Hold

McAfee also bought a handful of companies in the compliance market in 2006, announcing deals for Citadel Security Software ($56 million) and Onigma ($20 million) during the fourth quarter alone.

However, as McAfee, of Santa Clara, Calif., and other security software makers look to the compliance space to bolster revenues while the market for antivirus applications becomes commoditized, smaller companies already competing in the sector said they are confident they can compete with such giants.

McAfee and Symantec may be adding pieces to help enterprises manage aspects of regulatory compliance, but it will be hard for those companies to take away business from specialists who have spent years refining their products, said Jon Darbyshire, chief executive at Archer Technologies, Overland Park, Kan.

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