Kaspersky Enters The Challenge and CyberBit Bows Out

Very happy to announce that Kaspersky Lab will be competing in the ICS Detection Challenge at S4x19 in Miami South Beach on January 15th. Kaspersky is well known for the enterprise products, but they have been pushing into the ICS space for a few years now and even have an OS designed for the space and a dedicated ICS-CERT. It will be great to see how their product fares.

On the negative side, CyberBit has pulled out because due to “a substantial customer rollout” that made sending two analysts for two days two months from now impossible. I had recently heaped praise on CyberBit and skepticism of the comparative capabilities of others outside the big 4 in an article on the Fast Moving ICS Detection market.

The analyst in me though has a hard time understanding why any company that is not in the market leader category today would choose not to compete short of not feeling confident in being Top Tier.

Consider the case of CyberBit who has chosen to compete. They have limited mindshare and likelihood to be on a shortlist, at least in the US market in 2018. If they finish Top Tier alongside a market leader this is a huge win for them. I have no idea how competitive their product actually is, but we will find out.

There are 10+, or even 15+, vendors who are in the same situation. They are not even being considered in a large percentage of US and Asian asset owner opportunities. A Top Tier finish could change that. It would get them on the S4 Main Stage in front of 500+ influencers, and get them articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to reference when prospects ask why they should be considered.

You can make your own decision on how to evaluate the decision to not compete. I will note that 3 of the top 4 vendors in the space competed at S4x18. 2 of the top 4 are competing in S4x19, and we are still awaiting a decision by Nozomi. Security Matters stated that their acquisition by ForeScout and S4 CTF activities preclude them from competing again at S4x19.