RealTime IT News

McAfee, Cox Team Up On Broadband Security

McAfee and Cox Communications on Monday announced a partnership to deliver a suite of antivirus and security software applications for high-speed Internet customers logging on through the country's third-largest cable company.

Dubbed the Cox Security Suite, the offering will be available to Cox high-speed broadband subscribers early next year at no additional cost. It includes McAfee VirusScan Plus, Privacy Service and SiteAdvisor applications.

All of these applications will be automatically upgraded and patched with each subsequent McAfee release as long as the customer maintains an active subscription.

VirusScan Plus detects, blocks and removes viruses, Trojans, spyware and other malware programs. The Privacy Service application provides parental controls for blocking access to specific Web sites, limiting the total amount of time users can access the Internet and blocks the display of some images.

SiteAdvisor guards against malicious Web sites that feature adware, spam, phishing attacks and other online scams.

"We recognize that safe and secure high-speed Internet access is critical to our customers, and we pride ourselves on offering powerful PC and online protection from viruses, hackers and spyware at no extra costs," said Ray Starbird, director of product marketing at Cox, said in a prepared release. "Our new security offering powered by McAfee will enable customers to do everything from surfing the Web to shopping online with much greater peace of mind."

Last week, McAfee announced it was teaming up with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to promote safe online shopping practices during the holiday shopping season. Online shoppers are projected to spend more than $33 billion this year, according to McAfee, and phishing sites posing as legitimate banking or philanthropic sites are among the most nefarious threats.

Cox Communications has successful deployed a number of security applications and processes in recent years to protect customers from identity theft and online fraud. More than 500,000 customers in 2005 downloaded its first anti-phishing software, ensuring that users, rather than being redirected to the phishing site, were instead sent to the Cox Communications home page.

According to a recent survey by the National Cyber Security Alliance, while more than 90 percent of consumers believe they have the security software needed to guard against online threats, less than half actually have sufficient protection.