Keeping Networks Secure

Deal registration programs also are upcoming from both vendors, said sources familiar with the companies' plans.

Symantec, Cupertino, Calif., is slated to unveil the Client Security 2.0 suite, which will come in SMB and enterprise editions, said Gary Ulaner, group product manager.

Client Security 2.0 for SMBs offers broad security protection or narrower, antivirus-specific protection for individual clients or server-based groupware, depending on users' needs, Ulaner said. Enterprise Client Security 2.0 provides more flexible, customized network security through a central management interface.

"A great new feature is an outbound e-mail worm blocker," Ulaner said. "All of those mass e-mail viruses that try to e-mail themselves out, we block that from happening."

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Network Associates plans to launch McAfee Active VirusScan Suite SMB Edition and McAfee Active Virus Defense SMB Edition, said Rob Eatwell, director of product marketing at the Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor. Both products, Eatwell said, "create an environment of control out of the box, so the administrator doesn't have to understand how to create a good protection regime across the network."

Symantec and Network Associates have implemented lead engines for channel partners, but sources said both vendors are also readying deal registration programs. Network Associates plans to announce its deal registration program at its Annual Partner Symposium in May, but no timetable has yet been set for Symantec's program, sources said.

Under the deal registration programs, resellers would be required to report information pertaining to sales calls and other customer engagements. Sources said Network Associates and Symantec are refining the program terms to allay partner concerns that the vendors could bypass the channel and sell direct.

Brian Okun, director of marketing and sales at Chips Computer Consulting, a Symantec partner in Lake Success, N.Y., said he'd have no quarrel with deal registration. Customer information should flow freely between vendors and their partners, he said.