Home Business IT Security McAfee unveils next-gen endpoint security

The environment has changed significantly since endpoint security software was first developed, according to Candace Worley, senior vice president and general manager of endpoint security at McAfee. Consequently a new generation of protective software is required.

Recent and wide-ranging changes to IT environments include a greater diversity of devices (Macs, smartphones and tablets are now commonplace, whereas as little as a few years ago Windows-based PCs dominated), and server and desktop virtualisation are widespread.

Additionally, the line between corporate and personal use has blurred or even disappeared, so "context is very important, said Ms Worley.

For example, McAfee's IT administrators may wish to apply different policies according to where she is and what she's doing. Using a company-issued notebook on an internal network might be considered relatively safe, but trying to access corporate resources from a personal iPad connected to the Wi-Fi network in a Starbucks in China might be a different story. And while receiving corporate email on a personal BlackBerry might be acceptable, the company might want to control what can be done with the files attached to a message.

So there are several strings to McAfee's latest endpoint products, Ms Worley explained.

Announced today were new versions of Deep Defender, Endpoint Encryption, Application Control, and Enterprise Mobility Manager.

Deep Defender 1.5 adds protection against master boot record rootkits. mcAfee also previewed a version of Deep Defender for Xeon-based hardware.

Endpoint Encryption 7.0 (for Windows - including Windows 8 - and Mac) features integration with Intel's AMT technology and McAfee ePO Deep Command to enable the secure and remote management of powered off disabled devices.

This allows the remote activation of encrypted computers for remote updating without needing a person at the device to enter the encryption password.

Endpoint Encryption 7.0 also provides "near native" performance on encrypted SSDs thanks to Intel's AES-NI technology.

Application Control 6.1 provides a mechanism for users to add software to the whitelist. Although that is not usually desirable, an employee may be visiting another office where a different print driver is needed.

So the new version allows self-provisioning, but the user is required to enter a justification for the decision (which is logged and reported). There is also a mechanism for obtaining approval for the installation from the help desk.

Enterprise Mobility Manager 10.2delivers support for iOS 6 and includes the latest version of Secure Container for Android, along with additional security and management features for Android and iOS devices.

Ms Worley said McAfee will continue to add such context-aware features to its endpoint security lineup.

Disclosure: The writer travelled to Las Vegas as the guest of McAfee.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.

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