McAfee firewall updated to secure mobile workers

McAfee updates firewall software to protect company networks against threats from mobile workers.

McAfee has updated its firewall software to prevent threats from creeping into enterprise systems through insecure mobile clients, it said Monday.

McAfee Desktop Firewall 8.5 allows administrators to control access for travelling and remote workers through its Connection Aware Policies feature, the company said. The new feature checks whether a user's connection meets certain criteria, such as accepted gateway Internet protocol (IP ) addresses, before it will let the user connect to the enterprise network.

Administrators can define different policy rules for allowing access to the enterprise network. Once a client has verified that it meets the criteria, the firewall software can issue specific network access privileges to the client, McAfee said.

Desktop Firewall 8.5 is aimed at both small and large enterprises and monitors internal traffic to block internal threats. It also offers network quarantining and client lock-down in case a system has been infected.

Administrators often cite infections caused by mobile workers as a key concern. When workers take their laptops and other devices home or on the road the viruses they catch on insecure home or wireless networks can potentially spread companywide when they reconnect to the enterprise system.

McAfee isn't alone in updating its products to the threat. A number of antivirus vendors have been releasing products to guard against infections from mobile clients, such as Senforce Technologies. Its advanced firewall also allows administrators to enforce centrally managed policies to mobile workers.