McAfee Buys Wireless Security

Security software vendor McAfee gave its credentials
in the Wi-Fi security market a boost on Thursday with the acquisition of
Wireless Security.

The Calif.-based Wireless Security already
provides McAfee with the scanning technology it offers free to consumers.
The service allows users to check their wireless connections and hardware to
see if intruders have tried to breach their wireless connection points.

“The world we live in has become increasingly wireless, yet most users do
not have the proper security enabled and additional protection installed to
secure their wireless networks,” George Samenuk, Chairman and CEO of McAfee,
said in a statement. “This acquisition builds on our existing
security technology and enables us to further protect the growing wireless

Wireless Security’s technology will be bundled with McAfee’s core
products, including its Internet Security Suite, VirusScan and Personal
Firewall, according to McAfee.

The move is also expected to increase the number of security services
that McAfee can now offer through its reseller channel.

“McAfee is committed to providing innovative, comprehensive solutions
that protect customers from security threats at all access points,” Samenuk

Research firm IDC has predicted the worldwide adoption of wireless access
points will continue to increase. In the next four years, IDC researchers
say, these access points will get a 36 percent bounce annually.

The prime factors credited with this growth include a higher share of
households with multiple computers, increased broadband access, and more
users adopting notebook computers rather than desktops.

McAfee said a round of internal McAfee testing showed that, of 60,000
opt-in wireless networks, 47.9 percent were unprotected.

Wireless Security’s technology already supports WEP and WPA-PSK, as well as
nearly 100 percent of network cards, said McAfee. It also supports the most
popular routers from the large vendors such as Linksys, D-Link and Netgear,
the company said.

The technology, which will be developed by McAfee, is expected to launch
as a consumer product in the fall. The company also plans to integrate
the technology into the small business Managed VirusScan solution to provide
comprehensive protection for the business user that is automatically
delivered and managed to protect against evolving threats.

McAfee also announced a partnership with Bitfone to deliver security protection for mobile phones over the air.

According to McAfee, Bitfone will offer an embedded McAfee scanning engine as part of its device management solution, allowing mobile operators to detect, recover
from and prevent security threats to mobile phone software from viruses,
worms, auto-dialers and spyware.

“There is no doubt that mobile security will become a real issue with
monetary consequences for operators and enterprises alike,” Victor
Kouznetsov, senior vice president of mobile security solutions at McAfee,
said in a statement.

“By partnering with Bitfone, we can embed our scanning engine into a
broad base of OTA-enabled devices, laying the groundwork for operators to
implement an active threat-management strategy using our proven security
engine with Bitfone’s leading mobile device-management solutions,” he said.

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