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Network Associates adds services

The company is beginning to digest its multiple acquisitions of Internet security and network management firms.

    In a series of announcements this week, Network Associates demonstrated that it's beginning to digest and integrate offerings of its multiple acquisitions of Internet security and network management firms.

    Today, the company announced a new professional services organization largely made up of consultants acquired with firewall company Trusted Information Systems in March 1997, Network General last October, and network scanning firm Secure Networks this May.

    Network Associates' announcement of its 300-plus consultants is consistent with industry trends, as Net security companies add consulting businesses to boost revenues and deal with complex problems in network security. It also highlights CEO William Larson's comments earlier this year that the TIS acquisition would boost Network Associates' consulting practice.

    "If you are truly going to scale into the enterprise, you must provide product support, educational services around products, and global professional services," said Ken Powell, Network Associates vice president of global professional services. The company also will offer custom consulting on network security, including full-scale outsourcing and penetration testing.

    Today's professional services news follows announcements yesterday of enhancements to Network Associates' firewall software offerings.

    The company, which began as an antivirus software vendor called McAfee Associates, yesterday announced WebShield for Firewalls, which builds network antivirus protection into firewalls to keep viruses from entering corporate networks via the Internet.

    WebShield for Firewalls is the first product to result from TIS acquisition, and it uses the content vectoring protocol (CVP) to scan for viruses at the firewall. The product also works with firewalls from other vendors that support CVP.

    For its Gauntlet firewall, acquired with TIS, Network Associates will make WebShield available for free. In addition, by year's end the company expects to integrate WebShield completely into Gauntlet as part of its new Gauntlet Active Firewall Suite, which includes virus security and intrusion protection with the firewall.

    Network Associates also will release a new version of the Gauntlet firewall for Windows NT on August 1. Version 2.1 enhances ease-of-use and performance and adds modifications designed to help integrate it with other Network Associates security products.

    "We think [these features] make it not only a better product overall, but also makes it very channel-ready," said Wes Wasson, director of product marketing for Network Associates security group. "It can go to a much broader group of resellers."

    The product also includes "hooks" so Gauntlet can be integrated with other Network Associates security offerings under the Gauntlet Active Firewall suite, which will link its firewall, antivirus, and intrusion detection offerings.

    The company said future releases will integrate the components to enable automated and instant responses to intrusion threats.

    Gauntlet 2.1 is now available via the company or channel partners. The Gauntlet Active Firewall suite is due to ship August 1 starting at $20 per seat for 5,000 users.

    In addition to hourly rates, the consulting offerings will include 35 "shrink-wrapped" consulting services to do specific things in prices ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.