McAfee Goes for a Security Triple Play

McAfee releases new versions of its Internet Security Suite, Total Protection and VirusScan Plus software.

McAfee is bringing a new licensing strategy, enhanced features and a security-as-a-service model to the latest versions of its security software.

In a move it dubbed a "triple play," the security vendor announced Oct. 1 that it is taking security for PCs, mobile devices and on the Web a step further with updates to McAfee Total Protection, McAfee Internet Security Suite and McAfee VirusScan Plus.

Each product comes with three licenses, and customers can purchase additional licenses for $10 a piece for a year. In addition, new licenses are automatically made to expire at the same time as the current licenses, with users paying for only for whatever time they have the additional license. The new unified licensing plan is meant to make life a little less expensive for users, said McAfee officials, in Santa Clara, Calif.

Among the most touted new features is "Link Checker," included in Total Protection, which checks URL links in e-mails and instant messaging applications. Also included in Total Protection is "Protected Mode," which blocks access to Web sites rated "yellow" or "red" without a password, and "Easy Network," which simplifies setting up and managing home networks and sharing printers and files.

"This year, consumers will benefit from triple-play protection from McAfee," Todd Gebhart, senior vice president and general manager of McAfees Consumer, Mobile and Small Business unit, said in a statement. "With four out of five Web site visits starting with search, if consumers do not have safe search and surf technology for all of the on-ramps to the Internet, they are not protected—and McAfee is the only one to offer it."


Click here to read about McAfees ePolicy Orchestrator, which unites network, data and endpoint security management.

Company officials said the emphasis on making security transparent has made the update feature essentially security as a service as opposed to just subscription licensing. Instead of requiring user interaction, McAfee gives customers the latest protection and enhancements automatically whenever they are released during the period of the customers license, McAfee said.

McAfee Internet Security includes all of Total Protections anti-virus and anti-spyware and rootkit detection capabilities but does not include Link Checker, Easy Network or Protected Mode. McAfee VirusScan Plus is not as expansive in its security coverage as its sister products and is the cheapest of the three, but still features among other things anti-rootkit, anti-virus and anti-phishing protection as well as McAfee SystemGuards, which watch the PC and warn about specific behaviors that may signal virus, spyware or hacker activity.

Customers of McAfee Internet Security Suite and McAfee Total Protection will also get VirusScan Mobile at no additional charge to protect their mobile devices, company officials said. VirusScan Mobile helps protect against threats that originate from e-mail, instant messaging, applications and multimedia downloads.

"As the leader in mobile security, our core technology has been installed on more than 50 million devices," Gebhart said. "Our depth of expertise in the mobile space and our experience in the consumer environment enabled us to create the first security offering spanning the PC, Web and mobile—a protection triple play."

Research by McAfee and the National Cyber Security Alliance, based in Washington, revealed most Americans may be in for a shock if they think they are keeping up-to-date with Web security threats.

The survey, which included responses from 378 respondents, found that while 92 percent of the 378 respondents believed they had anti-virus protection, just 51 percent had current anti-virus and had received an updated DAT file within the week prior to their response. Only 22 percent had anti-spyware software installed, an enabled firewall and up-to-date anti-virus protection, the survey found.

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