The battle for the rights to protect small businesses from computer viruses continued to heat up this week as McAfee released an enhanced version of its Managed VirusScan.
The Web-based solution is geared toward small businesses that may lack the expertise and personnel to implement and manage an anti-virus solution for their desktops and servers, the company said.
"The No. 1 priority of small business is protection," Lillian Wai, senior marketing product manager with McAfee, said. "McAfee provides a solution that automates as much as possible so end-users don't have to worry about it."
Although it is the first time the product has been upgraded since 2003 (it was developed in 2000 as VirusScan ASaP), the Santa-Clara-based vendor's play could be as much strategic maneuvering to remain a prime contender in the anti-virus game as a technology push.
As previously reported by internetnews.com, the competitive pressure for anti-virus vendors to keep pace in a growing field magnified last month when Microsoft agreed to buy New York-based Sybari Software.
The acquisition was seen at the time as a positive step in helping enterprises protect their networks at the server level, especially among collaboration server systems. However, it also put pressure squarely on anti-virus vendors, such as Symantec and McAfee, whose AV products are already in wide use across enterprise networks.
Later that week Bill Gates reaffirmed Redmond's commitment to security and promised a new version of Internet Explorer with enhanced security options. He even suggested the company could provide anti-spyware protection from the recently acquired Giant Software Company to Windows licensees at no extra cost.
"We understand Symantec and Microsoft are part of the competitive landscapes," Wai said. "And certainly McAfee is on the lookout for new threats, but we are comfortable with our technological lead."
That technology also includes the recent enhancements to VirusScan as part of the McAfee Managed Services portfolio, which has been integrated into the functionality of its previous brand, according to McAfee.
The company has also re-established its Partner Security Service to include Web-based administration and reporting, spyware detection and rapid-response technical support through McAfee's Avert division, said Wai.
The new solution provides a flexible contract under which to work and offers expanded upselling opportunities, Wai said.
Security Breach at SMBs
According to AMI Partners, a New York-based firm that specializes in SMB markets, more than two-thirds of North American small to medium sized businesses don't have a full-time dedicated resource to manage security, which reduces their capability to identify and react to security incidents.
Among the other upgrades to VirusScan include proactive blocking of exploits and attacks without requiring an update, as well as an outbreak response that provides anti-virus updates to the client within one hour of an update being posted for a medium- or higher-rated outbreak targeting specific software vulnerabilities, the company said.
Adapted from Internetnews.com.
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