Security Platforms/Tools

Verizon Taps McAfee for SMB Security

Verizon Enterprise Solutions is teaming up with McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE) to offer mid-sized businesses a managed security service that makes it easier for them to stay up-to-date on potential network threats.

The suite of security services protects against five basic types of security threats faced by companies with between 20 and 1,000 employees: network, endpoint, Web, data, and email. The new services come in two flavors: McAfee Total Protection Service -- Advanced, which is hosted within the McAfee Software-as-a-Service infrastructure and doesn't require investment in hardware; and McAfee Total Protection for Secure Business, which provides software that a business can download on its own servers.

"Customers are moving more and more to using Internet to run their business, not just to advertise... and what they need is a comprehensive security solution," says Patrick Sullivan, director, SMB Solutions Marketing, Verizon Business. "We are trying to be in tune with the SMB segment, which is very concerned about cash flow and is capex constrained."

The Verizon approach allows businesses to pay monthly on a per-person basis without a major upfront licensing fee, Sullivan says. The cost is $3.50 per user per month for the SaaS version, or $5 per user per month for the software download offering.

Verizon also offers its own internally developed managed security services for enterprises and has a mass-market security offering as well for residential customers and very small businesses. (See Verizon Boosts IT Data Security.)

The service provider chose to team with McAfee on a mid-sized business offering because it's not possible to take the complexity of the enterprise offer and scale it down to the SMB level at a reasonable cost, saya Jonathan Nguyen-Duy, director of Global Security Services Product Management, Verizon Business.

"A lot of SMBs have the same exposure as large businesses in terms of regulatory compliance, because they handle credit cards and personal information," Nguyen-Duy said. "This service is set up so that with just 15 minutes every day, they can maintain robust security, which reduces the challenge for the SMB."

The McAfee Total Protection Service -- Advanced product keeps SMBs up to date on the latest threats without requiring them to stay on top of that information themselves, Sullivan says. Users log on to a Web-based console to check on endpoints and can use easy drag-and-drop tools to do updates.

The service is offered along with Verizon data service offerings on a single bill, Sullivan says.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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