McAfee Extends Reach With Three Partnerships


McAfee execs announced the partnerships during the company's first user/partner security conference FOCUS 2008, held in Las Vegas.

Execs say that the three new partnerships were designed to significantly expand McAfee's technological capabilities, its compatibilities and reach into new market segments that address sophisticated threats that emerge via unlikely attack vectors.

"We've watched the security industry evolve," said Dave DeWalt, McAfee president and CEO. "The traditional way we've done security has been like fingers in the dike sometimes. It's not been easy. We have to find new ways to protect the world."

Those new ways of protecting the world include integration with networking, business platforms and virtualization technologies that will enhance products by infusing security in each of those areas.

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Agreements between McAfee and HP ProCurve will jointly develop network security solutions aimed at integrating information security into a networking product portfolio. The joint solutions are designed to simplify networking and security at numerous levels, and are targeted toward companies of all sizes, execs say.

"We're able to bring some new innovative concepts to the network," said DeWalt. "The ability to bring security to the switch, to the router, to the network device that can help prevent intrusion and unauthorized access. These are different ways for us to look at innovating."

Meanwhile, McAfee will also be working with Intel to integrate security technologies below the operating system layer on PCs with Intel vPro technology, specifically applying Intel technology in key areas of encryption and theft deterrence, security management and virtualization. Altogether, the forthcoming combined technologies will enhance security and reporting for organizations operating PCs that feature Intel vPro technology while simultaneously requiring fewer IT resources.

Intel's VPro technology will also allow IT personnel to discover and remediate security problems on PCs outside of business hours, and subsequently report system health back to McAfee's ePolicy orchestrator management console.

"We saw an opportunity to put security in the silicon wafer," said DeWalt. "This gives us the ability to bring security at a whole other level of the infrastructure."

DeWalt said that the Intel partnership would allow security technology to be integrated "in every device that ships with Intel," including video, phones and music players.

And in an effort to protect Mac users, VMware is shipping McAfee's VirusScan Plus software combined with VMware Fusion, the desktop virtualization product used to run Windows applications along with Mac applications on any Intel-based Mac.

The move will allow antivirus, antispyware and Windows firewall software to be baked into the product at no additional cost to the customer. The technology will allow virtual images to be scanned for malware, as well as the capability to secure and manage unique virtualization products.

For many McAfee partners, the VMware partnership allows them to enter new market segments, as well as a new space in the industry that they otherwise might not have considered.

"Now they have an ability to do security attachments to VMware—that's not a market segment they've been able to capitalize in the past," said DeWalt.

DeWalt said the resulting product launches would occur "shortly" but didn't specify an exact date.

For partners, the integrated technologies resulting from the partnerships will likely translate into increased services, as well as product offerings, that they can provide to their customers, executives say.

"We hope to bring our channel community new return on investments, that can bring security together with an existing solution," said DeWalt. "We're really offering security at a whole new level."