McAfee Simplifies Security

Dubbed McAfee Total Protection, the four new solutions combine antivirus, antispyware, antispam, firewall and intrusion-prevention features. McAfee’s ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) has the infrastructure to provide and manage these services, according to Eric Winsborrow, vice president of product marketing at McAfee, Santa Clara, Calif.

“McAfee handles management features through ePO in the same way we update virus signatures,” he said.

Total Protection allows partners to provide services to end users with McAfee handling the back-end security infrastructure, Winsborrow said. “This model allows partners looking to get into the service model to get their feet wet,” he said.

McAfee has added network access control (NAC) to the high-end Total Protection solution it plans to market to enterprises, and this feature also will be controlled through the ePO console. NAC ensures that all network devices are free of malware and in compliance with corporate security policies before they’re allowed to connect.

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Eric Ahlm, director of emerging technologies at Vigilar, an Atlanta-based McAfee partner, said the high cost of infrastructure upgrades needed to implement NAC has been a barrier. However, the new category of security products that provide the same functionality without the infrastructure costs is a cost-effective alternative, he noted.

Adding NAC will enable higher-end security VARs to address a wider range of customers, said Dave Roberts, senior vice president of North America channel sales at McAfee. “Partners can now afford to be antivirus agnostic in their product strategy and still add a lot of value because NAC gives them an upside beyond just margins on sales,” he said.

McAfee’s Elite and Premier partners that have moved away from antivirus to concentrate on McAfee’s appliance business now have motivation to rethink their approach, Roberts said. “Although antivirus has become commoditized, [Total Protection] gives partners a reason to go in and talk holistically to customers from a McAfee standpoint,” he said.

The two Total Protection solutions for enterprises will be available April 17 and are priced between $68 and $77 per user for 1,000 nodes. The two solutions for SMBs will be available April 25 and are priced between $30 and $45 per user for 50 nodes.