Internet threat protection company M86 Security took the wraps off a new offering today designed specifically as a full-featured small business security suite. The suite promises full-featured, enterprise-grade Web and email security -- including data loss prevention and content management -- in a package affordable to small businesses.
The M86 SMB Suite brings together the company's M86 MailMarshal Secure Email Gateway, M86 WebMarshal, M86 Filter List and M86 Marshal Reporting Console (MRC) in a single software-based package designed for organizations of up to 500 users. In addition, customers may choose an anti-virus module from either Norman or Sophos as part of the package.
"Cybercrime, regulatory compliance and DLP are not just Fortune 500 concerns," said Werner Thalmeier, vice president, product management, M86 Security. "Unlike many products that try to address these concerns, the M86 SMB Suite is not a 'cut-down' or 'lite' version of existing products. Customers will benefit from the same full features available to enterprise customers without compromising security or functionality."
The suite includes a robust reporting tool. In addition, M86 Security said virtualization is easy, and the array/node architecture of the suite provides flexibility for small businesses. It comes with award-winning anti-spam protection in addition to protection against email and Web threats.
Managing Small Business Security
On the management front, it offers features for managing users, controlling content and policies and simplifying day-to-day business security practices. Included tools, such as quota management and content inspection, allow small businesses using the suite to establish and enforce acceptable use policies without having to completely block access. For instance, you can provide read-only access to Facebook or block access to gaming websites.
"One of the challenges that we've had with our channels here in the U.S. is that previously these channels have been targeted toward the enterprise. A lot of times what small businesses wind up with are products that are stripped down and not as feature-rich as products on the enterprise side," said Paul Meyer, senior vice president of corporate development at M86 Security. "What we really tried to put together is a bundle that would cover all of the contingencies that a small business might have."
Meyer explained the company is able to offer this package to small business technology buyers because of its software-based, subscription license model, as opposed to the appliance-based, perpetual license model it uses with enterprise customers.
"What we're delivering is a full-featured platform," he said. "It's a software-based solution, so it's easy to deploy, and it's more price competitive because we don't have to include hardware in the bundle. For our larger customers, the cost for a perpetual license is steep up-front, but once you buy that license, it's a simple maintenance agreement. The subscription has a lower up-front price, and there are multiyear discounts as well."
He added, "We're going to be up to 50 percent less expensive than some of our competitors in this space. The whole objective is to provide our small business customers with the same functionality that we offer our enterprise customers
Meyer explained that the suite runs on the Windows or Linux platforms.
"Most small businesses are comfortable with the Windows platform," he said. "You can deploy it to a standard Windows server in your network, or you can run it in a virtualized environment."
M86 Security is the culmination of the merger of four security companies. California-based 8e6 Technologies brought Web-filtering technology to the table, UK-based Marshal provided integrated e-mail and Web-security products, Utah-based Avinti provided behavior-based malware technology, and Israel-based Finjan brought with it a secure Web gateway product and patents for real-time code analysis technology.
"We've long had great experience on the enterprise side," Meyer said. "Between the four companies we now have quite a bit of medium size and small business experience as well."
Meyer noted that M86 Security boasts a complete channel program to distribute the product.
"The product is available through CDW," he said. "But we do have lots of regional channel partners that sell and support this product as well. Any channel partner that is interested in becoming authorized can contact us directly. You can get most of the training you need online, and it's self-paced."
"We have been an M86 partner for nine years and are very excited about this new security suite," said Karen Greer, owner of Secure Content Technologies.
"The M86 SMB Suite provides customers with a high-quality, single-vendor alternative to appliances and cloud-based solutions -- and most importantly offers full-featured security products unlike other vendors that reduce functionality to justify competitive pricing. This aggressively priced SMB suite and license model will appeal to many customers who are looking for complete security protection at an attractive price."
The M86 SMB Suite will be available through authorized M86 Channel Partners beginning March 22.
Thor Olavsrud is a contributor to SmallBusinessComputing.com and a former senior editor at InternetNews.com. He covers operating systems, standards and security, among other technologies.
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