#18 Newsmaker of 2009: Ross Allen of McAfee

With a downturn that has seen the security segment as one of the few areas of IT spending to remain strong, it has been good times for Ross Allen and McAfee (NYSE: MFE, but also challenging times with the competition heating-up.

McAfee began the year by expanding and adding new support to the McAfee Security Innovation Alliance, which gives VAR partners access to third-patty security solutions certified to work with McAfee.

The security vendor also took its security software-as-a-service (SaaS) play to the next level, creating a separate business unit led by a former SaaS executive from HP (NYSE: HPQ).

It was a busy year for partnering and acquisitions. McAfee completed its US$140 million acquisition in September of MX Logic, a provider of cloud-based e-mail and Web security, email archiving and email continuity services. And in July, the company announced a strategic alliance with converged Ethernet networks provider Extreme Networks.

On the consumer front, McAfee aimed to improve online identity, relationship and privacy protection to the next level by focusing on youth with the launch of McAfee Family Protection, the vendor’s new It also launched a Cybercrime Response Unit, a new Web site designed to help cybercrime victims recover from hacker attacks. Users can figure out whether they’ve been hacked, and to take the first steps to connect with law enforcement once they know a crime has been committed.

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