McAfee is making a major play for the network security market with a unified security suite and improved firewall technology that it hopes will allow it to compete with Symantec and Cisco.
The security firm's Network Security Business Unit (NSBU) is looking to double its annual revenues to $1bn (£630m) by offering a complete network security software package with new management tools that it believes will cut operating security costs.
"Our plan is to consolidate a full selection of network security products," said Dan Ryan, executive vice president of NSBU, and former chief executive of Secure Computing. "It's unique to the industry."
The consolidation of the security industry over the past 10 years has seen single service providers swallowed up into more unified security offerings. Providing a single-point solution means that McAfee is mirroring current trends in the industry and taking them forward for network managers, the firm claimed.
Key to the strategy is simplifying management for IT administrators. This approach is shown in McAfee's new firewall product and management suite, which uses a graphical user interface to simplify the setting of firewall rules and policies using Firewall Enterprise Profiler.
"Previously [firewall rules] were something that took days to organise, or you blew a hole through your firewall," said Greg Brown, senior director of McAfee product marketing.
"We were finding five to 10,000 firewalls in place in a typical installation, so that needed to be simplified."
The new firewalls use graphical tools to set up access conditions for desktops, laptops and mobile devices, and allow IT administrators to be alerted should conditions change. McAfee claims that this vastly reduces the amount of time and expertise to set up a firewall system.
Additional elements to the unified offering will be released over the next six months.
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