McAfee unveils cloud-based security

McAfee has taken the wraps off its Security-as-a-Service (SaaS) strategy, a comprehensive set of security products delivered as a service in the cloud.

The security giant said the cloud-based security suite is aimed at enterprises, small to mid-sized businesses and consumers.

McAfee has also said the SaaS delivery can lead to cost savings of 50 percent on average compared to offerings from a single vendor solution.

McAfee SaaS products improve visibility into both external and internal threats and vulnerabilities, the company said. IT administrators are able to use SecurityCenter, a centralised online console, to set policies which are then automatically pushed out to all users, said the company.

The vulnerability assessment service scans websites to see if they've been hacked and then can send reports to administrators as to what's wrong. The service can also check to see if a particular website complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which is a set of rules supported by card companies such as MasterCard and Visa.

McAfee has also integrated into the latest release technology that came from Secure Computing, which McAfee bought last year.

That includes TrustedSource, which was Secure Computing's intelligence system for collecting information on malware, email and web threats. It can judge the legitimacy of a website or email message based on its reputation, or a set of characteristics that can be analysed to determine what threat it poses.

McAfee has also tweaked other performance aspects, such as administrators' ability to collect data on the status of their deployed machines through an improved management console.

McAfee has also thrown SiteAdvisor into the package. SiteAdvisor scans web pages that are returned after a query on a search engine and gives a yellow or red warning for those that may harm a person's PC.

A new feature in 5.0 allows administrators access to those sites and only lets users go to those that get the green check icon. Previously, users could still visit sites that were marked as harmful or questionable, Viveros said.

Global intelligence, captured from each endpoint agent, which can be used to build up superior knowledge of the threat landscape and ultimately keep endpoints better protected.

“Our customers have told us they want flexibility in their delivery options,” said Marc Olesen, senior vice president and general manager, McAfee Software-as-a-Service.

“It is clear that IT resources need to focus on initiatives that are business critical, while consolidating vendors. Bottom line, McAfee is committed to making it easy for customers to maximise the value of our solutions and help them save money through Security-as-a-Service.”

Jeremy Kirk contributed to this article

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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