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Network Associates adds outsourcing

The new security strategy includes round-the-clock monitoring from a Network Associates data center.

Security and network management firm Network Associates is entering the security outsourcing business to relieve network managers' headaches from worrying about attacks on corporate networks.

The service, due to go live in January, follows the blending of the company's 300 security consultants into a single professional unit in July.

The Managed Services security offering will involve creating and implementing security policies, installing Networks Associate software to guard networks, and round-the-clock monitoring from a Network Associates data center.

"We found that most of our clients had been a target of network attack activity, and when we polled our client base, we found not only a need but a desire for us to supply almost turnkey security," said Ken Powell, vice president of Network Associates' consulting arm.

Analyst Eric Hemmendinger of Aberdeen Group says the company needs to add outsourcing to be a serious security player with Fortune 500 firms.

"This is another sign that these guys are serious. Customers can now go to one source for a lot of their security needs--build, deploy, and now management," Hemmendinger said.

The market for security services has been growing rapidly, and security product firms are finding demand for integrating their separate tools into a unified solution for customers.

Network Associates has been on a buying binge in the last 12 months, acquiring Network General, firewall firm Trusted Information Systems, network scanning firm Secure Networks, encryption software outfit Pretty Good Privacy, and antivirus firm Dr Solomon. Network Associates was created last year in the merger of Network General and McAfee Associates, an antivirus firm.

To get into security outsourcing, Network Associates must hire a network operations staff and create secure data centers to house servers running the security software, where the people will be based to monitor networks, Powell said.

The first outsourcing customers, Powell said the company is negotiating with three now, will come from Network Associates' existing base of customers.

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