Formerly called Managed Mail Protection, the new McAfee Secure Messaging Service is now based on Postini Inc.’s Perimeter Manager as well as incorporating McAfee technology.Operated by McAfee from the U.S., the hosted service filters e-mail for viruses, spam, phishing attempts, improper content, denial of service attacks and directory harvest attacks. It also has a disaster recovery function.
“There’s a market — particularly the small and medium businesses — that needs help managing and securing e-mail infrastructure,” said Jack Sebbag, McAfee Canada’s general manager, “so we built a service our resellers can sell to their customers.”
The Secure Messaging Service comes in two versions, one for small businesses and one for enterprises. Both have the same protection features, but the enterprise version has more reporting capabilities.
All McAfee resellers are eligible to sell the service, which is offered with either one- or two-year support. Organizations pay an annual fee based on the number of mailboxes.
For example, a company with 25 mailboxes would pay $44.81 per mailbox, totalling $1,120.35 for one year’s support.
To get the service all an organization has to do is provide the reseller with its Internet gateway address.
The move follows Symantec’s entry into the market earlier this year with its Hosted Mail Security service.
These companies believe there’s a market for a pay-as-you go service for companies that don’t want or can’t afford to pay for internal servers and gateways.
One VAR declines
But the services puts the software companies in competition with most Internet service providers who offer similar corporate protection.
Ottawa’s Sensible Security Solutions, a McAfee reseller, won’t pick up the new offering, said company president and CEO Paul Saucier.
“Most of our client base are large — like banks and federal departments — and they have to keep all information internal.”
In addition, his company plans to offer its own managed e-mail service shortly for small and medium-sized customers “in the next couple of months.
“It’s a great service, especially for the SMB space,” he said of the McAfee offering.
However, he added, while organizations are increasingly willing to consider outsourcing e-mail management, “I don’t think we’ll see the big boys moving to it in the next couple of months.”
Sensible Security offers a co-managed e-mail service, helping run systems for firms that want to keep their communications in-house.
It is also a channel partner of MessageLabs, what he calls a premium e-mail scanning service.
McAfee also offers a desktop anti-virus called Managed VirusScan (formerly VirusScan ASAP).