McAfee Embarks on Small Business Security Push

By Pedro Hernandez | Posted May 11, 2012

When it comes to IT buying, small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are proving that they're a force to be reckoned with. McAfee noticed, and it's jumping on the opportunity by offering enterprise-grade security that fits into small business IT budgets.

McAfee says that the company is sharpening its focus on SMBs, citing data from AMI Research that pegs the global small business security solutions market at $5.1 billion, and it's growing at a compound annual growth rate of 9 percent.

It's a level of spending that, as a recent market survey suggests, is a byproduct of small businesses devoting more of their budgets to IT solutions.

A new survey from Spiceworks, a small business IT hub, discovered that the average small business IT budget is now $152,000, a 15 percent increase over the past year. While hardware generally takes up 40 percent of SMB IT budgets, software and services take away healthy slices of the pie.

According to the survey's 1,500 respondents, small businesses devoted 34 percent of their IT budgets to software and 26 percent to services. That bodes well for McAfee's plan to secure small business networks.

SMB Focus for Security-as-a-Service

To address the challenges of keeping small business networks and computers secure, along with managing that protection, McAfee is aligning its SaaS Endpoint -- as in Security-as-a-Service -- portfolio with SMB priorities in mind. This includes new scheduling options, which organizations can use to time the download and application of crucial security updates to fall during off-peak hours, lessening their impact on business processes.

McAfee SaaS Endpoint is available in three packages:

  • McAfee SaaS Endpoint Protection Suite -- Provides anti-malware, firewall protection, security policy management, monitoring and reporting via a Web-based SecurityCenter management console.
  • McAfee SaaS Endpoint and Email Protection Suite -- Scans emails before it enters the network and provides client-side Web category filtering.
  • McAfee SaaS Total Protection Suite -- Adds further data security features such as email encryption and pre-built compliance libraries. It also offers cloud-based Web filtering for keeping malware and other unwanted Web content from reaching the internal network.

In addition to the upgraded products, McAfee is launching new channel partner initiatives targeted at the small business market. In June, the company will launch a new ecommerce marketing platform called McAfee SmartMarketing that allows partners to download and co-brand marketing assets.

It joins a slate of channel programs like McAfee Tailored SMB Solutions, which blends on-premises and cloud offerings for customized data security packages. Other examples of the company's SMB-flavored customer outreach include McAfee Rewards, SMB Specialization for turnkey marketing programs and the margins-enhancing Deal Registration program.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

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