Earlier this week, SentinelOne announced that it will reimburse customers for up to $1 million if they are hit by a ransomware attack, but some experts say that this is a marketing gimmick and no replacement for a solid cyberinsurance policy.
"It’s good that they are standing behind the capability of their product with this guarantee," said Mike Buratowski, vice president of cybersecurity services at Fidelis Cybersecurity. "The guarantee program is a novel idea with some credibility to it, however there is also a bit of marketing gimmickry in it as well."
The $1 million payout, for example, would only come into play if a thousand user machines were affected, all running the latest version of the SentinelOne software, and if the ransom for each machine was $1,000 or more.
"In the majority of cases we have handled at victimized companies, there are less than a dozen machines," he said.
And while SentinelOne can cover the cost of the ransom itself, there's no way it can guarantee that the attacker will actually follow through and release the data.
"Hats off to Sentinel One on a brilliant marketing move," said Nathan Burke, vice president of marketing at security vendor Hexadite. "If you're already a SentinelOne customer, this is a very nice new benefit. You at least get some reimbursement if you have to pay ransom, which is better than nothing. For companies evaluating endpoint detection and response products, this campaign certainly gives SentinelOne a unique competitive advantage, but they should be aware of the caveats and requirements of the guarantee."
The guarantee program is a novel idea with some credibility to it, however there is also a bit of marketing gimmickry in it as well.
Mike Buratowski, vice president of cybersecurity services at Fidelis Cybersecurity
"Yes, it is a marketing spin, but it is working as we are talking about it," said James LaPalme, vice president of cloud solutions at WinMagic.
But the publicity around this offer might actually have an unwanted negative effect, he added.
"Ransomware will only exist as long as people are willing to pay," he said. "This insurance highlights that people will be paying, which will only contribute to more ransomware."
Guarantee limited to just one device
The SentinelOne guarantee is for up to $1,000 for the device infected by ransomware.
"But the problem stretches far beyond that," said David Gibson, vice president of strategy and market development at Varonis Systems. "Ransomware attacks often start on one PC, but quickly branch out and do damage across the network, encrypting terabytes of files on NAS devices and file shares. We see these severe attacks all the time and they’re the costliest to recover from.”
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.