What If Security Products Offered Warranties?

Most of the time software license agreements say “we are not responsible for anything that might happen”.  In fact, most license agreements say that it is up to the user to figure out if the software is even appropriate for whatever the user plans to use it for.

So what would happen if a software vendor offered, say, a ONE MILLION DOLLAR warranty?

Well, you no longer have to wonder.

SentinelOne (https://www.sentinelone.com/ ), maker of endpoint protection software (the next generation of anti virus software), has started offering a million dollar warranty if their customer’s computers are infected by ransomware while their software is active.

They are that confident of their product.  They use AI and machine learning to stop attacks.

SentinelOne decided that they needed a differentiator.  Providing a warranty would be an impressive difference in a very crowded software segment with 60 competitors.

However, last year there were four vendors offering a warranty;  this year there are 18, so that difference is losing a little bit of its punch.  SentinelOne is likely responsible for that.

If this trend continues, this could be a great event for users.

Getting SentinelOne’s management to agree to offering a warranty was a bit of a challenge, but Jeremiah Grossman , the guy who did the convincing, had things figured out.

First you have to model your losses, understanding what the likelihood is of the product failing.

Then you have buy reinsurance against catastrophic losses.  The reinsurance, he said, cost them less than $25,000 a year.  A pretty cheap marketing cost.

SentinelOne said they had no losses in the last year.  That, by itself, is pretty impressive.

While $1 million is a lot of money, the average cost to recover from a midsize breach is between $3 million and $7 million, so that $1 million, while it should be a good sales tool, is not the end game.

Enter warranty V2.  Details still being worked out.

Still, if this is a trend, maybe there is an end to the insanity of software licenses – caveat emptor, buyer beware.

That, if it happens, would be a wonderful change.  I have my fingers, and toes, crossed.

Information for this post came from SearchSecurity at TechTarget.


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