McAfee Breaks Into Pipe Cleaning

Security software vendor McAfee extended its managed security services this week with an offering of carrier-grade products.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based firm announced the program, dubbed McAfee Clean Pipes, as part of an initiative to provide McAfee technology to Internet Service Providers (ISP) to help offer data and infrastructure security services to customers.

The initiatives will allow ISPs to offer their customers a “value-added service intended to stop the latest security threats” before they can impact networks, computing infrastructures or mobile devices, according to the company.

Vatsal Sonecha, vice-president of market development and strategic alliances at McAfee, said the initial portfolio of McAfee-enabled managed security services will consist of Intrusion Prevention, Secure Content Management, Vulnerability Management and Managed Anti-Malware, and Mobile Device Security.

“Service providers will be able to deliver these services individually or as a bundle to meet the unique needs of their end customers,” he said.

As a managed security service, the initiative is part of a bigger product push from McAfee in an effort to sell platforms that service providers can install at their customers’ sites and manage remotely.

Developing a next generation of carrier-grade security appliances and ramping up its enterprise security offerings is now a priority, Sunil Chhabra, senior service provider solutions manager at McAfee, said.

The new products will let the service provider offer the same security services, but as a hosted service from their own data centers, according to Chhabra.

These services will address customers ranging from large scale enterprises to small mad medium businesses to consumers, he said.

Sonecha cited several analyst forecasts that the managed security service sector will be a $3 to $5 billion market by 2008.

Clean Pipes is expected to help McAfee jump right in to the managed services game. The company intends to sell managed intrusion prevention, secure content management, vulnerability management malware protection, including anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-spyware services, and mobile device security, available immediately.

Service providers will run the secure operations centers, customer relationships, billing and other infrastructure for the new services. McAfee will provide an integrated technology suite and a unified management architecture, as well as R&D expertise, Sonecha said.

McAfee is working with Cable and Wireless PLC, British Telecommunications, Telefónica SA and China Network Communications.

McAfee is hardly the first company to jump on the managed security services bandwagon. Big players already include Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks and Check Point.

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