Webroot will introduce an update to its popular Spy Sweeper anti-spyware product today that fully integrates the Sophos antivirus engine, providing both functions within one executable.
The two companies had previously announced plans to offer an integrated solution for business and consumer customers.
Webroot’s Spy Sweeper has become a market leader and enjoyed numerous awards from testing and evaluation sites for its ability to dig out spyware.
Sophos, on the other hand, is not a household name. It has focused solely on the corporate and IT space with its antivirus products and has nothing on the shelf at the local CompUSA.
Webroot’s Spy Sweeper will use the same update mechanism and detection engine it currently has, it just adds Sophos virus definitions.
The marriage of the two products was perhaps inevitable because as good as Spy Sweeper is with spyware, it was part of a greater security whole, and people don’t want to have to run multiple detectors on their systems.
“This project was driven in a really big way by our customers who’ve been telling us ‘I’d like to consolidate into one product, I’d like to see you bring some antivirus capabilities to the market,'” said Gerhard Eschelbeck, CTO of Webroot.
Natalie Lambert, analyst with Forrester Research, said this kind of combination was inevitable. “Companies are recognizing that managing all of these products is increasingly difficult. They need to consolidate their security products. The way to do this is by bringing multiple technologies together,” she said.
At the same time, client security vendors like Webroot are realizing they can’t continue to provide one leg of the table, they need to provide all four legs. “What we’re seeing is client security vendors are realizing they have to move to a suite model. Webroot needed this antivirus component. It’s critical to their survival,” she said.