Security software developers are stuffing more features into security suites this holiday season in an attempt to save resellers and their customers time and money, especially with legal bills..

Jimmy Kuo, McAfee fellow and Anti-Virus Emergency Response Team (AVERT) founder, says the consequences

of security threats, in particular, spam, include litigation and loss of productivity.

Since much of spam is pornographic in nature, there have already been a number of litigation cases involving employees and organizations in North America.

Overall, Kuo says spam is a big productivity hit on organizations.

Kuo estimates the loss of productivity per person annually at US $1,000.

Network Associates, Inc., a provider of intrusion prevention solutions, launched the first phase of its McAfee Trusted Connection Strategy, which focuses on ensuring the security compliance of all systems before they are connected to the corporate network.

McAfee has incorporated partnerships with virtual private network (VPN), remote access service (RAS), wireless and networking vendors and has undertaken integration efforts with Check Point, Cisco and Nortel.

“We’re going to give users and IT administrators the ability to ensure machines that are connected to the corporate network are compliant with the company’s security policy before they’re even allowed access,” said Pat Kewin, retail director for McAfee Security.

This allows organizations to close off another entry point that could be a potential threat to infrastructure and business availability.

“Your security policy is only as strong as your weakest link,” says Kewin. “If you have 13 doors in your house and 12 of them are locked, you’re probably not very secure.”

McAfee Trusted Connection Strategy is one layer of McAfee’s Protection-in-Depth Intrusion Prevention Strategy.

McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator allows IT administrators to manage its anti-spam and desktop firewall solutions. Underlying that is Infinistream, a security forensics tool, which streams all network activity, Web traffic, and voice over data IP, etc. to disk.

Kewin compares Infinistream to an airplane’s black box flight recorder.

“”The forensics tool would allow an organization to go back in and understand how they were compromised so they can remediate against that and it would allow them to see what data or info may have been compromised or taken,”” he said.

Computer Associates International, Inc. is also meeting this trend with the release of its CA Protection Suite.

CA Protection Suite combines CA’s BrightStor ARCserve Backup and eTrust Antivirus technologies, enabling its channel partners to address customers’ growing need for secure networked storage systems.

“The benefit to the customers and the reseller base is huge,” says David Liff, vice president of BrightStor solutions. “(CA Protection Suite) covers both anti-virus and data protection and backup.”

The US$875 price tag works out to be 20 per cent cheaper than buying the products individually.

Combining the products also saves companies time.

“Because they’re one solution, you don’t have to worry about managing each solution individually, says Liff. “It can drastically reduce the time for the IT department.”

Herb Addis, sales manager of Saltspring Software Inc., says CA’s Protection Suite is a great idea that has been a long-time coming.

“Some (customers) are running a particular anti-virus already and then they have to get storage software,” he said.

“That can cause real problems for them when they’re trying to do backup and they’ve also got anti-virus on there. They don’t talk to each other well and the anti-virus bogs down the system.”

The latter is not a problem with CA Protection Suite, says Addis.

“Bundling their products together gives confidence to the customer that they know it is going to work.” |

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