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McAfee launches bid to clean the cyberplumbing

The antivirus firm said telecom companies can incorporate McAfee tools into their own service offerings under the Clean Pipes initiative.

Telecom companies will be able to incorporate McAfee products into their own managed security service offerings under a new program the Santa Clara, Calif., antivirus firm calls the Clean Pipes Initiative.

"This is geared toward giving service providers the equipment and technology to get started," said Vatsal Sonecha, McAfee's vice president of market development. "We are not getting into the MSSP business. This is to give service providers more of the tools they need to grow their base and create new revenue streams."

Service providers were already able to install McAfee products at a customer's site and manage the tools remotely. Clean Pipes takes things a step further by letting telecom providers host McAfee tools from their own data centers. "McAfee enables service providers to create a 'clean pipe' by providing security from the service provider network all the way to the individual desktop and mobile device," McAfee said in a statement. Services McAfee will offer through the Clean Pipes initiative are intrusion prevention, secure content management, vulnerability management and mobile device security. Service providers will be able to deliver these services individually or bundled together.

The new program is McAfee's latest effort to broaden its security portfolio and regain some footing it has lost in an increasingly saturated antivirus market. Last year the company changed its name from Network Associates to the name of its flagship AV product. At the RSA Security conference in February it unveiled a new antispyware tool for enterprises. Symantec, one of McAfee's main competitors, released its own enterprise antispyware tool on the same day. This past spring, McAfee also expanded its support services.

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As part of the initiative, the company has also launched what it calls the McAfee Clean Pipes Consortium (CPC), an invitation-only group of global service providers. McAfee said the consortium is "designed to facilitate collaborative, two-way communications with McAfee to help members leverage their investment in McAfee's security solutions, discuss security trends and issues relevant to their market, and work directly with McAfee to provide strategic guidance on product development to continue shaping the future of next-generation security solutions and services."

Consortium members will also have exclusive access to McAfee's technology labs, test beds and product roadmaps "to better capitalize on a market that is expected to experience tremendous growth over the next several years," the company said.

Charter members of the consortium include UK-based Cable & Wireless and British Telecommunications (BT) Global; Telefonica of Spain; China Netcom; and KPN EnterCom, based in the Netherlands.

Andre Beerten, KPN EnterCom's product manager for managed security, said his company signed on because it wants to help influence the development of future security products and services while growing business at the same time.

"The things that attracted us to McAfee were the possibility to influence product and service development that will enable us to deploy security services on a new scale of numbers and completeness of service," he said in an e-mail exchange. "McAfee has the knowledge, brand reputation and power to make a difference in this play. We wish to be a part of that."

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