Vancouver security vendor joins McAfee alliance

To give IT mangers a consolidated and simplified platform for dealing with enterprise security

Vancouver-based Absolute Software hopes its involvement in a new McAfee partnership will help give IT mangers a consolidated and simplified platform for dealing with enterprise security.

Earlier this month, McAfee announced the formation of the Security Innovation Alliance program -- a partnership that integrates the products and services of nine third-party security vendors with the McAfee's ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO). The ePO platform allows organizations to centrally manage security and compliance products from multiple vendors.

As part of the program, Absolute will include its computer theft recovery Computrace software -- which is embedded in the BIOS of computers from partnering manufacturers -- into McAfee's Orchestrator platform. This means users can use ePO to monitor their corporate anti-virus and encryption software, as well as, use Absolute security features such as theft recovery, remote data delete and IT asset management.

"This is a tool of convenience," John Livingston, CEO at Absolute said. "It's a great gathering of different security services all under on umbrella that can be managed, deployed, and automated. It really gives users an easier way of deploying these solutions."

McAfee said it hopes the technology partnering program will help bring proven security features from other security companies to its Orchestrator users. The security giant said that because of the convergence in security solutions, the partnership will go a long way in reducing operational security costs for McAfee customers.

In order to provide an all-in-one security package, McAfee choose to integrate companies with complementary security offerings. And because of this, Joe Gottlieb, vice-president of corporate strategy and technology devices at McAfee, said the decision to include Absolute's computer theft security technologies was an easy one.

"Absolute's ability to do remote data delete and it's persistence by virtue of them being embedded in the BIOS was very attractive to us," Gottlieb said. "They have great insight into data breach scenarios, what actually happens when a laptop is stolen, and they also have a good recovery rate. When you couple that with our full disk encryption abilities, we feel it's an unbeatable one-two punch."

Gottlieb said the traction that Absolute has gained in the computer theft recovery space and how the company has evolved into data protection provides a tremendous payoff for enterprises looking for a complete security solution.

"We have thousands of customers that use our Orchestrator management system, so really out payoff here is to bring our end-users the strong capabilities of our partners, under one umbrella," Gottlieb said. "We want to have more tools under one management roof to handle data breaches. If you can manage security in one place, you can be that much more effective and timely in managing critical scenarios, so this will absolutely be attractive to current McAfee customers as well as prospective ones."

For Livingston, Absolute's motivation in the project is simple: more customers are going to be able to have access to its computer and laptop security software.

"The nice thing about Orchestrator is that a lot of people have it already, so now our module will basically show up in that console, giving us a new way to introduce our functionality to customers," Livingston said. "McAfee has a worldwide sales force and a huge distribution in the government and corporate space. We're glad that they understand compute security and realize that computer theft protection in the format Absolute delivers has become an industry standard."

And Livingston said McAfee customers will be interested in Absolute's involvement in the Orchestrator platform as long as data security and identity theft continue to be in today's headlines.

"Look at last year, there were hundreds and hundreds of data privacy breaches that were carried on the national news, so it's a very serious issue," Livingston said. "This is hopefully a practical way for customers to protect their endpoint devices."

Other vendors involved in the McAfee partnership include Application Security, Bit9, Guardium, LogLogic, Palamida, Q1 Labs, Raytheon Oakley Systems and Voltage.

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Rafael Ruffolo

ComputerWorld Canada

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