Network Associates Hails National Security

Computer security solutions provider Network Associates, Inc. is taking its products from nationwide desktops and corporate networks to the White House.

The maker of popular security software such as McAfee, VirusScan, WebShield, and Sniffer has been tapped by the U.S. Department of Defense as the network security product of choice.

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), the unit of the Defense Department responsible for operating government information systems for the President, the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other unnamed Defense Department staff, has officially added McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator, McAfee Desktop Firewall, and McAfee VirusScan Wireless to its defense arsenal.

The demand for beefing up DISA’s network security software is due in part to an anticipated increase in wireless use among government workers and the increased demand for antivirus products that can protect a range of handheld devices from the threat of attack.

McAfee Security, the 75 percent-owned unit of Network Associates that protects business from security breaches and virus attacks, will lead the charge in arming the DISA network with protection software.

Network Associates is in the process of trying to buy out remaining shares of McAfee, which it spun off in 1999.

McAfee Security holds 34 percent of antivirus market share.

“DISA’s selection represents a strong confidence in the McAfee security product offerings and we will look to provide Defense Department users with maximum protection against today’s more blended threats and wireless threats of the future,” said Michael Callahan, senior director of product marketing for Network Associates.

Among DISA’s choices for wireless defense are VirusScan Wireless, an antivirus product aimed to protect wireless handheld devices from viruses and corruption during the synching process with a PC.

DISA will also use the McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator which is customarily used by large enterprises to manage the security of large networks from a single server. ePolicy will provide the DISA network with detailed graphical reports on virus outbreaks and rapid solution software deployment, with the ability to distribute the latest virus definition to hundreds of thousands of systems within moments of discovery.

Additionally, DISA will install the McAfee Desktop Firewall, a solution that combines packet and application filtering with embedded intrusion detection. The Desktop Firewall will also enable Department of Defense IT managers to more rapidly build policies based on IP addresses, subnets, ranges, and protocols for inbound and outbound traffic.

Financial details of the alliance between Network Associates and The Department of Defense were not available, however the contract was signed in the first quarter of 2002 and will cover more than two million Defense Department systems, according to Network Associates.

Earlier this month Santa Clara, Calif.-based Network Associates posted its first quarter profits indicating that in the post-September 11, business climate, demand for increased network protection is stronger than ever. The company posted a pro forma profit of $15.9 million, or nine cents per share. The company also raised its outlook for its entire 2002 financial results.

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