McAfee Delivers Beta of Security Suites

McAfee on Friday released betas of two software suites based on its new security service platform code-named "Falcon," first announced last month and intended to compete with Windows Live OneCare and Symantec's upcoming "Genesis" platform.

Under development for the past year, Falcon combines the company's antivirus, anti-spyware, and "threat watch" technologies. It includes SystemGuard to look for certain behaviors that may indicate virus, spyware or hacker activity, and alert the consumer before the issue does damage. Additionally, X-Ray detects and kills rootkits, as well as malicious programs that attempt to hide themselves.

For protection while browsing the Web, each of McAfee's Falcon-based offerings will include SiteAdvisor to identify and notify users of potentially dangerous Web sites. Red, yellow and green icons are displayed to indicate the safety rating of a site while users browse and search the Web.

Like Windows Live OneCare, McAfee has designed a central SecurityCenter for managing the security on a PC. Customers will also be able to monitor the security status of other computers on the network. Falcon will assist in setting up secure networks as well, simplifying a confusing task for many first-time wireless network users.

McAfee plans to release four security services built atop the Falcon platform. McAfee Total Protection Beta is available for testing and includes the complete range of capabilities. It adds Web filtering, additional security for online transitions, local backups and desktop cleanup tools.

"Our Total Protection beta service goes far beyond traditional malware protection to shield every aspect of the consumer's digital life, including network and wireless security management, Web-based search protection and backup technologies -- all combined into a single, easy-to-use service," said Marc Solomon, McAfee's Director of Product Management.

McAfee VirusScan Plus Beta, also available for download Friday, includes only the core protection features from Falcon. Coming later this summer is McAfee PC Protection Plus, which does not include the network monitoring and threat analysis tools that come with Total Protection.

McAfee Internet Security Suite, meanwhile, will feature all the protections included in McAfee Total Protection with the exception of those for wireless home networks.

More information and beta downloads of McAfee Total Protection and VirusScan Plus are available at beta.mcafee.com. Total Protection testers can additionally sign up to trial a new online backup service for digital photos and personal files.

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