McAfee ASaP targets new WebShield at small business

Looking to add to its portfolio of hardware and services and attract smaller businesses to its offerings, McAfee ASaP, the services division of Network Associates Inc., will offer a new version of its WebShield antivirus system in December, according to Sal Viveros, director of marketing in Europe, the Middle East and Asia for Network Associates.

The new device, the WebShield e250, is targeted at the small and medium size businesses that might be interested in McAfee ASaP's offerings, but couldn't necessarily afford its higher-end systems like the WebShield e500, which retails at US$10,000, Viveros said. The e250, which will cost between $2,000 and $5,000, is targeted at companies of fewer than 1,000 users and can scan up to 30,000 messages per hour for viruses, he said. In contrast, the e500 scans over 100,000 messages per hour.

The WebShield e250 is a combination hardware device and service, in which McAfee ASaP installs the gateway device at the customer premises, but then manages the offering remotely, just like any other managed service, Viveros said. The device scans traffic coming in over HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol), FTP (file transfer protocol), SMTP (simple mail transport protocol) and POP-3 (post office protocol), he said. The WebShield e250 should be available in mid-December in North America, followed by releases in French, Spanish, German and Japanese two weeks later, he said.

Despite the softness in the world economy, Viveros expects that services such as those offered by McAfee ASaP will thrive.

"Our area is one of the few areas that's going to outpace the regular economy," he said. "You can postpone other purchases," but you can't let your business go offline because of security incidents, he added.

In fact, Viveros said, services customers are growing at a rapid rate and are likely to continue to do so.

"Once people understand the value of (services), people are more likely to (purchase others)," he said.

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