McAfee details its strategy to take on Cisco, Check Point Software Technologies and others in the network security market. Leveraging technology acquired from Secure Computing, McAfee is starting its network security push with new firewall offerings. The company is also touting new integration with its ePO software.
McAfee has outlined its
network security strategy, tracing a bull's eye around companies like Cisco and
Check Point Software Technologies.
Unveiling three new
firewall-related products, McAfee officials said the key to their strategy will
be integration and unified management. To that end, McAfee has integrated its
Firewall Enterprise (formerly Secure Computing's Sidewinder), Firewall Enterprise Control Center
and McAfee Firewall
Enterprise Profiler products with its ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) software. The
company also released Total Protection for Internet Gateway, which includes Web
and e-mail protection as well as network data loss prevention technology.
"The essence of this push
that we're doing right now really is ... that we're in the network security area
in a big way, which some people don't recognize," said Dan Ryan, executive vice
president of McAfee's Network Security Business unit.
The company's latest push
actually began last year with the acquisition
of Secure Computing
. Now the company has its eyes fixed on leveraging the
technology to secure a bigger part of the overall security
market. According to analyst firm IDC, the worldwide market for network,
Web and messaging security
was valued at roughly $12 billion in 2008 and is
forecasted to grow to $17.6 billion by 2012.
Getting a bigger piece of
that means providing organizations with a more unified approach to security,
said Chris Christiansen, an analyst with
"The days of
managing network defense, Web and messaging security and data security as
separate activities simply won't succeed in today's economic and threat
environment," he said in a statement. "Effective network security must have
global intelligence and must be integrated into the broader organizational
security management infrastructure. Vendors that deliver these levels of
integration in a complete suite will be successful as this will lower overall
cost of ownership for organizations."
By leveraging the
company's global threat intelligence and the management capabilities of ePO,
McAfee officials believe they can arm their customers with enough protection to
give the company an edge in the market over rival vendors.
"The natural competitors
for McAfee have been the Symantecs of the world, and now once we get into this
side, the network-specific and security-specific vendors are going to be Check
Point and Cisco along with the pure plays like Blue Coat [Systems], Websense,
etc.," Ryan said.
With the addition of
Firewall Profiler, McAfee Firewall Enterprise is application and identity
aware, officials said, adding that Firewall Enterprise uses global
reputation-based technology to make decisions on network traffic. Firewall
Enterprise Profiler is targeted at helping enterprises get a handle on the thousands
of firewall rules
they have before conflicting rules hurt
"The firewalls today have
typically 5,000 to 10,000 rules in them, and they're broken," Ryan said.
"They're broken by virtue of the fact that there's a billion-dollar
market that you put in behind the
firewalls just to catch stuff that gets through. What profiler does ... it lets
you actually connect immediately by drilling into this graphical interface the
exact rule in the firewall that's impacting the exact user or user group. So it
takes the management of rules down to literally minutes."
The new McAfee Firewall
Enterprise 2150 VX appliances are 2U appliances that allow customers the
ability to consolidate up to 32 firewalls into one physical appliance.
Meanwhile, McAfee Firewall Enterprise Control Center (formerly CommandCenter) was
updated to integrate with ePO.
"I think we're just really
excited about the opportunity to really combat Check Point, Cisco and others
for that No. 1 spot," he added.