McAfee Touts Better Endpoint Protection

New secure USB drive and laptop audit trail on tap. Separately, McAfee also updates its rankings of the most dangerous domains.

 By Andy Patrizio
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McAfee today introduced a new utility as part of its ePolicy Orchestrator that will make it easier to provide an audit trail when something inevitably goes wrong. The security firm also unveiled a new type of USB drive designed to prevent data loss.

Separately, the company issued a listing of the most dangerous top level domains (TLDs) that's sure to draw some protests from China.

The two new products announced today are McAfee Policy Auditor 5.0 and McAfee Encrypted USB. Encrypted USB marks McAfee's entry into the hardware space with USB flash and hard drives with special security authentication. It's a product that was in development by the company SafeBoot when McAfee acquired the firm last year and is just now coming to market.

A common problem in data loss is employees putting data they shouldn't on the ubiquitous USB thumb drives, which routinely feature 1 GB capacity or more at the low end these days. With this device, contracted out by McAfee (NYSE: MFE) to a hardware maker, if a device is lost, the data is inaccessible.

The drives are USB 2.0-compatible with AES 256 security and the capability of two-factor encryption. This encryption can include RSA tokens or biometric security in addition to passwords.

"This is targeted at users who need to use USB drives, who need the portability, but you want to protect it so if the device goes missing, the information on it is useless because it's all encrypted," Chris Parkerson, group solution marketing manager for data protection at McAfee told InternetNews.com.

There will also be support for external USB hard drives in 250GB, 500GB and 750GB, offering the same two-factor security. The only prices available are for the 1GB USB flash drive ($74.99) and 2GB drive ($119).

Policy Auditor 5.0 works with McAfee's ePolicy Orchestrator, which is used in all of McAfee's products, including its flagship Antivirus product. Policy Auditor 5.0 uses open security standards like XCCDF (Extensible Configuration Checklist Description Format) and OVAL (Open Vulnerability Assessment Language).

These specs audit the computer to check what security measures have been taken on the endpoint device, most notably the laptop, since they are more likely to be lost than desktops. Policy Auditor runs on the clients and sends reports to ePolicy Orchestrator, so if there is a problem, there is an audit trail of proof that the laptop has been secured with things like drive encryption, two-factor authentication or data backup.

Parkerson said that most data loss prevention tools secure the network, but not the end points, and those are what often get lost. After a data breach, an audit is done and there is no trail to show the laptop has been secured.

"We hear from all these customers that they spent all this money on security and still have data breaches, but they can't prove their security steps. As far as an auditor is concerned, it's like you did nothing," he said.

The Deadliest Domains

McAfee also released "Mapping the Mal Web Revisited," a look at 9.9 million Web sites in 265 top-level Internet domains (TLDs). It seems tainted food isn't the only bad stuff coming out of China. Their TLDs need some cleaning, too.

The report found that 19.2 percent of all .hk Web sites, the Hong Kong TLD, had some kind of security threat to Internet users. Second on the list was the .cn TLD, which belongs to the mainland, with 11 percent of domains checked carrying an infection. All told, China had almost 30 percent of infected Web sites.

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com

This article was originally published on Jun 6, 2008
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