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Symantec rubbishes Comodo claims of SSL dominance

Squabble breaks out between digital certificate issuers over data.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Symantec has rubbished claims from rival security vendor Comodo that it has been usurped as leader of the SSL digital certificates market, in a furore over competing reports from researchers.

Comodo claimed last month that it had a leading market share of the digital certificates market, becoming the first company ever to overtake longtime leaders Symantec, according to data from the market research firm W3Techs.

In contrast figures unearthed by Symantec rebuff its rivals assertion, with data from analysts at Netcraft placing Symantec at the front of the pack with a third of the SSL certificate market, whilst Comodo lags in third place with just over a fifth.

Further data from Frost & Sullivan, a consulting firm, also shows Symantec is well ahead of all competitors in terms of revenue from SSL certificates, capturing almost 60% of the market, many times the 7.5% accounted for by Comodo.

"Numbers aside, at Symantec, we believe ‘leadership’ is earned rather than claimed," said Benjamin Wang, director of product marketing at Symantec, writing on the company blog.

"Over the years, we’ve demonstrated best-in-class OCSP (Online Certificate Status Protocol) response times allowing for faster and more secure web transactions for online businesses and consumers around the world."

He also noted that Comodo had courted controversy over its backing of SSL tool PrivDog, which exposed users to electronic eavesdropping due the way it handled SSL certificates, prompting a rebuke from the US Department of Homeland Security.

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Melih Abdulhayoglu, chief executive of Comodo, last month hailed his firm’s alleged market leadership, arguing that they had achieved it "through organic growth, not acquired growth".

"Consumers and businesses worldwide have spoken loudly and clearly that they choose and trust Comodo as their number one security provider," he said.

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