Security giant McAfee is stepping up its web-based security offerings, and has expanded the scope of its enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) range with several new features and programmes.
Among the new features in the hosted offering is web filtering, vulnerability scanning and PCI compliance, which McAfee hopes will add complete endpoint, email and web protection to its SaaS platform.
Marc Olesen, senior vice president and general manager of SaaS for McAfee, said that the move was made in part to keep up with soaring demand for hosted security services. The company estimates that adoption of SaaS security has risen 30 per cent over the past year.
Despite heated competition in the hosted security market from large vendors and smaller firms, Olesen said that McAfee feels it has a chance to take a stranglehold on the SaaS security field.
"With our portfolio, our experience and our reliability, we are very uniquely positioned to dominate that marketplace," Olesen said. "We see competitors out there, but we often win when it comes to diversity and maturity."
SaaS and cloud computing platforms have led to a major shift in the IT industry, and security is no exception. In addition to hosted security programmes, McAfee and other vendors have utilised web-based services for operations such as vulnerability reporting and signature updates.
The software end of the operation, however, still holds a central role. Olesen said that in early case studies of McAfee's SaaS platform, many customers are using a mix of SaaS and local software to manage security operations.
"We are seeing a lot of hybrid use cases where customers have deployed some of our products on-premise and some in the cloud," he said, noting that many companies have opted for on-premise software for central office users and cloud services for branch office and telecommuting employees.
"The key is having the portfolio for customers that are looking to the cloud or looking to a web-based solution."
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