McAfee Offers Clean Pipes to Service Providers

The McAfee Clean Pipes initiative will provide McAfee technology to service providers to help them offer data and infrastructure security services to customers.

McAfee is expanding its managed security services offerings to include a line of new carrier-grade security products and services and a new network access control product for enterprises.

The company next week will announce a program it is calling McAfee Clean Pipes. The initiative will provide McAfee Inc. technology to service providers to help them offer data and infrastructure security services to customers.

The initiative is one part of a major product and services push from McAfee, which is developing its next generation of carrier-grade security appliances and ramping up its enterprise security offerings with NAC and secure content management product releases planned for the first half of next year, said Vatsal Sonecha, vice president of market development and strategic alliances at McAfee, in Santa Clara, Calif.

Clean Pipes will be a major expansion of McAfees managed services offerings. The company will sell managed intrusion prevention; secure content management; vulnerability management; malware protection, including anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-spyware services; and mobile device security, Sonecha said.

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Service providers will run the secure operations centers, customer relationships, billing and other infrastructure for the new services. McAfee will provide an integrated technology suite and a unified management architecture, as well as R&D expertise.

"No single company can deploy [point products] on a carrier basis and support them all at the same time," said Sunil Chhabra, senior service provider solutions manager at McAfee.

McAfee is working with Cable and Wireless PLC, British Telecommunications PLC (British Telecom), Telefónica SA and China Network Communications (China Netcom) to tailor its offerings through an invitation-only group it calls the Clean Pipes Consortium.

"We want to make sure were in lock step [with ISPs] on features and functionality," Sonecha said.

A new line of carrier-class infrastructure will support the program, including versions of McAfees IntruShield IPS (intrusion prevention system), WebShield anti-virus and ePolicy Orchestrator management products that can handle carrier-grade deployments.

The new gear, due in the first half of next year, will be an "order of magnitude" faster than McAfees current enterprise versions of those products, supporting close to 100G-bps Ethernet ports with improved management and failover features, Sonecha said.

McAfee is just the latest company to see dollar signs in managed security services, said John Pescatore, an analyst at Gartner Inc., in Stamford, Conn. Cisco Systems Inc., Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., Nortel Networks Ltd. and others sell products and services to carriers that manage security "in the cloud."

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Following in the steps of Symantec Corp., which announced plans last month to buy Sygate Inc. for its NAC technology, McAfee will release an enterprise NAC software product in the first half.

Unlike Ciscos NAC architecture, McAfees product will be agnostic, supporting networking equipment from different vendors, Sonecha said.

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