McAfee seeking to unify products

Company shakes up management team in wake of stock-options review.

McAfee plans to announce this week a product strategy that calls for unifying the management of vulnerability-assessment and security-compliance products it gained through the acquisition of three firms, Citadel, PreventSys and Foundstone.

In a bid to raise its profile beyond malware protection to more general risk management, McAfee says the goal next year will be to bring the Foundstone scanner, the PreventSys data-consolidation tool and the Citadel Hercules vulnerability-management software under the central control of ePolicy Orchestrator. The ePO console is used to manage distribution and reporting of McAfee antivirus and antispyware software.

By turning ePO into a policy-compliance management tool. McAfee intends to recast its own identity as a vendor in the process."Policy and compliance enforcement is the direction we're headed," says Michele Cobb, McAfee's product marketing manager for the enterprise.

John Pescatore, analyst with Gartner, says McAfee's bid to redefine itself as "policy-compliance vendor," rather than playing to its current strength in antimalware and intrusion prevention, comes in the face of Microsoft's entry into the antimalware market.

But Pescatore expressed some reservations about how easily McAfee will find it to pull off the integration work associated with the Citadel, PreventSys and Foundstone products. "The engineering integration is a pretty big deal, and it can take a long time," he says.

Integrating the Foundstone scanner and PreventSys tool for consolidating multivendor security data into ePO "makes sense," he says. But he predicts adding the Citadel vulnerability-management software could be technically harder.

Cobb says the PreventSys Security Risk Management System is expected to be integrated into ePO by early next year, but she offered no specific dates for integrating the Foundstone and Citadel products.

Risk management These McAfee acquisitions fit into its plan to integrate more products with its central security management and reporting console, ePolicy Orchestrator.
CitadelHercules vulnerability-management softwareOctober 2006 for $50 million
FoundstoneVulnerability scannerAugust 2004 for $86 million
PreventSysSecurity Risk Management System for consolidating data from multi-vendor vulnerability and configuration toolsJune 2006 for about $10 million

Management upheaval

Last week McAfee's board of directors fired McAfee President Kevin Weiss, announced the retirement of CEO George Samenuk and appointed Dale Fuller as interim CEO and president all in the wake of a stock-options probe

"I regret that some of the stock-option problems identified by the Special Committee occurred on my watch," Samenuk, who spent six years as chair and CEO, said in a statement announcing his resignation.

McAfee said the stock-option irregularities process means it will have to restate historical accounting statements, probably over a 10-year period, to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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