McAfee Buys Wireless Security

By Tim Gray

June 02, 2005

The security vendor covers Wi-Fi security with the acquisition.

Security software vendor McAfee gave its credentials in the Wi-Fi security market a boost on Thursday with the acquisition of Wireless Security.

The Calif.-based Wireless Security already provides McAfee with the scanning technology it offers free to consumers. The service allows users to check their wireless connections and hardware to see if intruders have tried to breach their wireless connection points.

"The world we live in has become increasingly wireless, yet most users do not have the proper security enabled and additional protection installed to secure their wireless networks," George Samenuk, Chairman and CEO of McAfee, said in a statement. "This acquisition builds on our existing security technology and enables us to further protect the growing wireless environment."

Wireless Security's technology will be bundled with McAfee's core products, including its Internet Security Suite, VirusScan and Personal Firewall, according to McAfee.

The move is also expected to increase the number of security services that McAfee can now offer through its reseller channel.

"McAfee is committed to providing innovative, comprehensive solutions that protect customers from security threats at all access points," Samenuk said.

Research firm IDC has predicted the worldwide adoption of wireless access points will continue to increase. In the next four years, IDC researchers say, these access points will get a 36 percent bounce annually. The prime factors credited with this growth include a higher share of households with multiple computers, increased broadband access, and more users adopting notebook computers rather than desktops.

McAfee said a round of internal McAfee testing showed that, of 60,000 opt-in wireless networks, 47.9 percent were unprotected.

Wireless Security's technology already supports WEP and WPA-PSK, as well as nearly 100 percent of network cards, said McAfee. It also supports the most popular routers from the large vendors such as Linksys, D-Link and Netgear, the company said.

The technology, which will be developed by McAfee, is expected to launch as a consumer product in the fall. The company also plans to integrate the technology into the small business Managed VirusScan solution to provide comprehensive protection for the business user that is automatically delivered and managed to protect against evolving threats.

McAfee also announced a partnership with Bitfone to deliver security protection for mobile phones over the air.

According to McAfee, Bitfone will offer an embedded McAfee scanning engine as part of its device management solution, allowing mobile operators to detect, recover from and prevent security threats to mobile phone software from viruses, worms, auto-dialers and spyware.

"There is no doubt that mobile security will become a real issue with monetary consequences for operators and enterprises alike," Victor Kouznetsov, senior vice president of mobile security solutions at McAfee, said in a statement.

"By partnering with Bitfone, we can embed our scanning engine into a broad base of OTA-enabled devices, laying the groundwork for operators to implement an active threat-management strategy using our proven security engine with Bitfone's leading mobile device-management solutions," he said.

Originally published on .

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