CyberWarfare / ExoWarfare

Covid19 Victim: Austin Security Testing Company NSS Labs Ceases Operations

Austin, Texas-based security product testing company NSS Labs has announced that it ceased operations on October 15, 2020.

“Due to Covid-related impacts, NSS Labs ceased operations on October 15th,” a message on the company’s website reads.

On Monday, Jason Brvenik, CEO of NSS Labs, posted the same message on LinkedIn, without providing additional details on the shutdown.

“If you are in need of excellent people that exceed my high standards, please get in touch,” he also said.

Founded in 2007, NSS Labs has been focused on becoming a trusted source on security product research, testing and advisory, providing private organizations, government agencies, services providers, and resellers with information on product effectiveness, performance, and cost.

A year ago, NSS Labs was quietly acquired by Consecutive Inc., a private equity firm, with no specific details on the transaction made public. The deal, Brvenik said earlier this year, was meant to help the company better focus its resources.

Investors reportedly pressured the company into providing a security-as-a-service offering with threat intelligence on exploits. The company had offered a service where organizations were being alerted on active exploits, but it did not get traction.

In 2018, NSS Labs filed an antitrust lawsuit against the antivirus industry: CrowdStrike, Symantec, ESET, the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO), and others.

HardenStance’s Patrick Donegan noted on Twitter that NSS Labs’ model was broken and that NSS Labs’ demise is not surprising. In a report published earlier this year, he pointed out that trust in the proprietary methods of independent testing companies has been declining and that the numerous lawsuits between vendors and test firms in recent years is proof of that.

NSS Labs raised a total of $27 million in three funding rounds, with participation from LiveOak Venture Partners and Delta-v Capital. In February 2020, NSS Labs announced a revised Endpoint Security Test model and in July it released the results of its 2020 Web Browser Security Test.

SecurityWeek has emailed NSS Labs for a comment on the shutdown and will update the article if a reply arrives.