McAfee Secure for Websites security service review

McAfee's new security service scans websites and network infrastructure for vulnerabilities, malware, spam, malicious links and sharing of personally identifiable information.

McAfee Secure for Websites
McAfee
Price: Based on page views per website, starting at $1,000


Will displaying a major security vendor's stamp of approval mean more business for website owners by making shoppers less skittish about spyware and identity theft? McAfee is betting that its Secure for Websites service will.

"Our A-B testing shows our trust mark to half of the users that come to a website, and also in search results," says Tim Dowling, VP of McAfee's Web Security Group. "We've seen a significant bias of clicks going to towards sites that display the mark."

Dowling said that the testing shows a minimum 3 percent increase in business--a powerful marketing tool for potential customers.

McAfee Secure for Websites is based on the Hacker Safe service acquired with ScanAlert earlier this year, plus tests McAfee adds from its SiteAdvisor tool. For a sliding fee based on daily page views, McAfee conducts daily vulnerability assessment scans on the site and network infrastructure based on ScanAlert's large database of known exploitable holes. The SiteAdvisor technology checks the site for malware, misuse of customer email for spamming, suspect links and sharing of personally identifiable information.

If a site passes, it gets McAfee's trust mark, which it can display on its site. If it fails at any point--websites change, and so can their security status--the logo gets pulled until the problems are remediated. The trust mark is also displayed in search results if you have SiteAdvisor, which has added a Secure Search Service, displaying risk factors for sites as green, yellow or red. SiteAdvisor is available in several McAfee commercial products, or as a free download.

--NEIL ROITER

This was first published in July 2008
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