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Network Associates and MSN Go To The Desktop

Network Associates said Thursday that its McAfee Security division has signed a strategic alliance with MSN South Africa to offer managed anti-virus for desktops.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based Web security company said MSN will start offering its VirusScan ASaP service to home offices and small and medium businesses.

The area could certainly use some help. According to the South Africa Department of Trade and Industry, 92 percent of all companies in the Republic of South Africa have 10 employees or less. Most of these organizations do not have the resources to dedicate to the ongoing management that is required to keep anti-virus updated against the latest virus threats.

MSN, being the largest Internet portal in South Africa, said it want to protect its assets.

"Our customers rely on us to provide efficient, cost-effective tools and have been increasingly turning to us for protection against malicious code," said Ashika Kalyan, country manager at MSN South Africa. "When we recognized the need to offer an anti-virus solution, we looked to McAfee because they have moved beyond the traditional software solutions and offer their industry leading technology in an online managed service."

VirusScan ASaP is a 100 percent online service, based on McAfee's virus-scanning engine, The platform's Rumor peer-to-peer technology provides automated updates.

"MSN is not only the leading portal in South Africa, but also for the entire African continent, and we are pleased that they have chosen to partner with us to offer a managed anti-virus service," said Christopher Bray, country manager for South Africa at Network Associates. "McAfee Security's ASaP services were designed for portals like MSN, they are able to offer a value-added service to their customers without deploying their internal resources or those of their customers."

The anti-virus package is currently being offered through MSN's South African portal: http://www.msn.co.za/tech/mcafee/ .