On Friday, the company will begin testing Enterprise SecureCast, a corporate version of a service introduced in January for the home user. The service will use push software from BackWeb Technologies to automatically broadcast antivirus programs to network managers and will provide a greater range of virus fixes than the home version.
By using BackWeb to deliver the fixes, McAfee believes it can protect its customers more quickly than Symantec and other antivirus competitors. Although push technology from companies such as PointCast is used primarily to broadcast information to users so they don't have to schlepp out to Web sites themselves, some companies see it as a way to distribute application upgrades on a more timely basis.
Enterprise SecureCast will allow companies to receive virus fixes for desktop computers as well as network servers, firewalls, and groupware. The home version of SecureCast only provides desktop virus fixes.
According to Gene Hodges, director of antivirus marketing at McAfee, the company will also offer a service that allows virus fixes to be broadcast directly to end users rather than having to go through a network manager. That service will begin testing before the end of the first quarter.
"The next step will be to add automatic internal software distribution capability," said Gene Hodges, McAfee's director of antivirus marketing.