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McAfee repackages security products

New "Total Protection" products for businesses aim to simplify purchase, installation, management and running of security software.

McAfee on Monday plans to announce a repackaging of its security products for businesses, promising software that is easier to buy, install, manage and run.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company is phasing out its current product lineup for business customers and is introducing McAfee Total Protection. The new name holds much of the existing McAfee security software, such as antivirus, antispyware, firewall and spam protection, but the company has improved integration and manageability, it said.

McAfee will offer four flavors of McAfee Total Protection, two aimed at organizations with more than 100 computers that need protection, and two for smaller organizations, the company said. The versions for large organizations are due on April 17, the two editions for smaller users on April 25.

With the repackaging, McAfee is building on its existing strategy to offer products that are integrated and can be centrally managed. "We are redefining the way customers acquire, deploy, manage and operate security products," said Vimal Solanki, a McAfee spokesman.

McAfee's security bundles let users install multiple protective technologies at once. These include reactive protection against common threats, such as viruses, worms and spyware, as well as proactive protection technologies, such as a firewall.

For the first time, McAfee is adding host-intrusion prevention to its product bundles for larger organizations, called McAfee Total Protection Enterprise, Solanki said. The top-end bundle, McAfee Total Protection Enterprise-Advanced, also gets network access control, another first, Solanki said.

Furthermore, host-intrusion prevention is making its debut in McAfee's central management console, the ePolicy Orchestrator. The intrusion prevention software had its own management console--integration with ePolicy Orchestrator has been a long requested feature, Solanki said.

For smaller organizations, McAfee is adding a hosted e-mail security service to the product bundle. These bundles are called McAfee Total Protection for Small Business-Advanced and McAfee Total Protection for Small Business.

While McAfee is bundling its products, customers can still cherry-pick and choose not to purchase antivirus, for example, Solanki said.

But bundling is the future, said Yankee Group analyst Andrew Jaquith. "This is probably the most important announcement McAfee has made all year," he said. "It is a good announcement for them and a good announcement for the industry. (It) helps make this idea mainstream that this is the future."

Although Spain's Panda Software was sooner than McAfee with deep integration of its security software, McAfee still leads its main rivals Symantec, Trend Micro and Computer Associates, Jaquith said.

"Symantec has articulated a roadmap that will do similar kinds of things. However they have quite a bit integration to do until they get there," he said, pointing to several acquisitions Symantec has done, including WholeSecurity, PlatformLogic and Sygate. "I believe they are nine months behind McAfee."